The Case for Impressionism

Is this painting you’re looking at right now good, or is it bad? What about this painting, exhibited the same year? Is it better because it’s forms and figures are more clearly defined? Because it tells a dramatic story? Or is this one better because it captures a fleeting moment, recorded just as the artist […]

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The Conservation of Guy Wiggins – Episode 1: “The Work Before The Work”

The Conservation of Guy Wiggins –  Episode 1: “The Work Before The Work”

In this series we’re going to be taking an in-depth look at the entire conservation process as it relates to one painting. This untitled scene of Fifth Avenue in winter executed in oil on canvas by the American impressionist painter Guy Wiggins arrived at the studio in need of desperate conservation. The painting had an […]

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The Conservation of Guy Wiggins – Episode 2: ” The Cleaning Process”

The Conservation of Guy Wiggins – Episode 2: ” The Cleaning Process”

If you remember many different cleaning agents were tested to determine which one would be most effective at removing the accumulated surface grime and enable access to the varnish. Ultimately, a protease enzyme cleaner proved to be not only the best at removing the grime but also one of the more gentle and safest solutions. […]

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Painting Stars | Star Trail | National Gallery

Painting Stars | Star Trail | National Gallery

There are many dazzling representations of stars in the National Gallery’s collection. It takes you on a whole history of painting from early medieval work, from the fantastic religious paintings of Duccio, to the wonderful representations of nature in Turner’s sublime paintings of the early nineteenth century, and then to the work of the Impressionists […]

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The Conservation of Guy Wiggins – Episode 3: “On Structural Issues”

The Conservation of Guy Wiggins – Episode 3: “On Structural Issues”

Before embarking on any structural work Washi is adhered to the face of the painting with a reversible conservation adhesive. Using small sections of paper enables better conformation to the impasto and easier handling. This facing is done after the cleaning to ensure that none of the grime or old varnish interacts with the adhesive […]

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The Conservation of Guy Wiggins – Episode 7: “Finally, The Frame”

The Conservation of Guy Wiggins – Episode 7: “Finally, The Frame”

Upon seeing the painting after conservation my client wisely decided that addressing the frame would not only be prudent but be of great benefit to the painting as well. Having installed the painting into the frame with brackets and screws, the removal was easy and didn’t subject the painting to any unnecessary stress. Before any […]

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Andrzej Wajda – School of Fine Arts – my participation in student life (19/222)

I think it’s worth presenting again the situation in the School of Fine Arts in order to reply to the question of what my role was in all of this. On the one hand, the former tutors who had worked at the school before the war were pushed to one side, and had no authority […]

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The Conservation of Guy Wiggins – Episode 4: “Becoming Whole Again”

The Conservation of Guy Wiggins –  Episode 4: “Becoming Whole Again”

Up to this point all of the work has been focused on removal. That is, removal of the surface grime and varnish, the old lining and the adhesive. But now we can shift gears and start to work to put the painting back together. With the vapor treatment complete we can see a marked improvement […]

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