Julian Baumgartner

Julian Baumgartner Follow

Baumgartner Fine Art Restoration - the oldest and now second generation fine art conservation studio in Chicago. Established in 1978. info@bfar.com

http://www.BFAR.com/

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As promised, here is the short clip of the varnishing of yesterday’s painting. While not an extreme change, you can see how the varnish intensifies the colors: the darks get darker and that makes the lights appear lighter, the depth comes back and the piece looks richer. In addition the painting is now protected from dirt, oils, and UV light.  This is a synthetic resin Regalrez-based varnish with an HALS (hindered amine light stabilized) resin added.
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#artrestoration #artconservation #restoration #conservation #art #fineart #painting #canvas #oilpaint #chicago #paintingconservation #arthistory #paintingrestoration #bfar
During the examination of this painting, before doing any work or writing the proposal something kept nagging me. The more I looked at it the more the background just didn’t seem right; the edge of the hair was too crisp and the color too uniform. Sure enough it turned out that someone had overpainted it. Removing it revealed an irregular and rough looking background that had been over cleaned or “skinned”. Some retouching helped unify it and of course a good varnish makes it all come together (you’ll see that tomorrow 😜).
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#artrestoration #artconservation #restoration #conservation #art #fineart #painting #canvas #oilpaint #chicago #paintingconservation #arthistory #paintingrestoration #bfar
Conservation isn’t always about the front of the painting. In this series of photos I’m using reflected infrared photography to reveal the inscription on the verso of this small painting. Now, deciphering what it says is another story.
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#artrestoration #artconservation #restoration #conservation #art #fineart #painting #canvas #oilpaint #chicago #paintingconservation #arthistory #paintingrestoration #bfar
This was a project. When this painting came in it was clear that had been very poorly conserved at least once before. Much of the painting was over painted; the texture was wrong the colors were wrong and the painting was dirty. I removed the surface grime, the old varnish, and the multiple layers of over painting to reveal that the painting had suffered some extreme losses. At this point I had to have a conversation with my client about his appetite for continuing the project. Even though he had signed a contract I still felt it was necessary to let him know that this would be an appropriate time to cut and run.  He was steadfast in his commitment to restoring the painting as it contained important sentimental value to him. The losses were filled in and retouched and ultimately the painting was put back together. In instances like these where there is so much loss and so little to go by you turn to similar scenes and then use your best judgment.
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#artrestoration #artconservation #restoration #conservation #art #fineart #painting #canvas #oilpaint #chicago #paintingconservation #arthistory #paintingrestoration #bfar
Hello everyone, hope you had a great weekend, I did!  Now back to work. Go ahead and tell me that the above painting shouldn’t have the old varnish removed.  Go ahead and tell me that the left half has a mysterious, sensual quality to it. Actually, don’t. Materials such as natural resin varnishes (in this case damar) fail or age and when they do they should be removed so the painting can be viewed as the artist intended. If this artist wanted a yellow/brown sky, he would have painted it that way, no? I think it looks infinitely better with the varnish removed.
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#artrestoration #artconservation #restoration #conservation #art #fineart #painting #canvas #oilpaint #chicago #paintingconservation #arthistory #paintingrestoration #bfar
Making test windows is a crucial part of understanding a painting. During this process I can determine what kind of surface grime or varnish was used and how best to safely remove it. Making the test on the white isn’t only for dramatic effect; the white is often more stable than other colors and can act as a baseline for determining when the grime and varnished are fully removed. Here I’m using an enzyme cleaner to remove the soot and grime.
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#artrestoration #artconservation #restoration #conservation #art #fineart #painting #canvas #oilpaint #chicago #paintingconservation #arthistory #paintingrestoration #bfar
Just a short video showing the varnishing of this small Frank V. Dudley painting. It doesn’t take much varnish nor is it that difficult so artists take note and don’t be afraid.
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#artrestoration #artconservation #restoration #conservation #art #fineart #painting #canvas #oilpaint #chicago #paintingconservation #arthistory #paintingrestoration #bfar
Man oh man am I excited about what just came in. I’m not going to show you the whole thing yet but if this teaser doesn’t get you excited then, I dunno.
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#artrestoration #artconservation #restoration #conservation #art #fineart #painting #canvas #oilpaint #chicago #paintingconservation #arthistory #paintingrestoration #bfar
I had meant to post this yesterday but work got in the way. This small painting by Frank V. Dudley, an Indiana/Illinois naturalist and painter of the Dunes depicting his summer Studio/Home in the Indiana dunes was quite dirty with accumulated particulate and grime. Removing the grime and old varnish is essential to a painting like this where the use of color is key to the image. Dudley kept a controlled palate and employed the use of temperature a lot to create the highlights, shadows and sense of space and depth. If you’ve ever been to the dunes along Lake Michigan the way he painted them in uncanny in he accurate resemblance and more importantly feel. I’ve worked on probably over 200 Dudley works and if you couldn’t tell, I dig him. If you like this work there are two great books by Jim Dabbert and Valparaiso University cataloguing his life and work. .
#artrestoration #artconservation #restoration #conservation #art #fineart #painting #canvas #oilpaint #chicago #paintingconservation #arthistory #paintingrestoration #bfar #frankdudley #dunes #indianadunes @valparaiso_university
I’d be smiling too if I was going to clean up as well as this little guy!
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A light cleaning and varnishing on this Gertrude Abercrombie is all it takes to make this little painting vibrate. If you’re in Chicago during the last week of September (27-30) you can check it out in person at @expochicago at Navy Pier.
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I’m usually happy to see a past conservator’s label on a painting describing the materials used. It generally makes my job easier as I will have more information on which to act. Unfortunately in this case the information is a bit heartbreaking. The use of water-borne PVA, a materials that for all intents and purposes is permanent and not reversible (it can be reverse with great effort and very hostile solvents not suitable for use on the paint layer) means that whatever was done in 1992 is now a permanent part of the painting. As a conservator, ensuring that ones work can be removed or reversed is fundamental. I’ll have to have a discussion with my client about where we go from here.
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#artrestoration #artconservation #restoration #conservation #art #fineart #painting #canvas #oilpaint #chicago #paintingconservation #arthistory #paintingrestoration #bfar