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Oil paintings conservation and restoration

Paintings conservation usually entails:



  • removal of surface dirt and grime that discolor the painting
  • removal or reduction of discolored varnish layers that obscure the painting      
  • repair of tears, holes, surface irregularities, and areas of loss     
  • relining and strip-lining of deteriorated canvases to suitable fabrics
  • mounting of deteriorated canvases to stable supports
  • consolidation of fragile elements or materials
  • treating surface deformations such as cupping, tenting, flaking, and  powdering
  • re-stretching old canvases to existing supports or conservation quality stretcher bars
  • varnishing to create the proper protection and optical properties of a finished painting    
  • mitigating visual defects in the painting
  • inpainting (retouching) of losses requiring accurate color matching and texturing
  • repairing previous restorations that are inappropriate or disfiguring
  • observing the "principle of minimalism" in treatment strategies
  • observing the "principle of reversibility" in treatment methods adhering to the Code of Ethics of the  American Institute for Conservation


Painting restoration (often confused with conservation) sometimes entails:  

  • over painting is the deliberate application of paint to disguise severely damaged areas
  • treatments intended to return cultural property to a known or assumed state, often through the addition of non-original material. Conservators are ethically bound to maintain the "artist's intent" and will not alter pictorial elements to "improve" works of art




Polychrome object conservation and restoration

Eskimo mask sold to tourists in the 1950's


Framing in antique replica gilded frames


We provide museum quality framing using replicas and period piece frames. We also construct handmade frames with compo ornaments. The framing  materials and methods that we use meet the highest conservation standards and aesthetics.



This painting by California Impressionist John O'Shea, was framed in a 22k gold, hand carved frame that enhances a fine landscape of this style and period.



Gilded frame restoration


Frame conservation is limited to stabilizing the object without altering the surface layers or delicate patina but also may include loss repair and mitigating the visual disturbance.


Frame restoration includes compensation for severe losses, damage, or correcting previous restorations and may include re-gilding and patination.



Disaster mitigation

We provide collection management in the event of natural disasters like fires, floods, earthquakes, locust swarms, and alien invasions. This is available for both public and private collections of art.






On location treatments

We can move our "mini-lab" on location to work on oversize  or fragile artworks which will not travel safely. Transporting art is often the greatest potential danger to valuable artworks and antiquities.



Referrals to appraisers

Appraisals establish fair market values, replacement costs, insurance estimates, estate estimates, or donation values. This is done by appraisers who are responsible members of certified appraising institutions. (Hint: Those who have a financial interests in your artworks are not objective appraisers. As members of the American Institute for Conservation, we do not  provide appraisals.) We can refer you to qualified appraisers, a separate specialization.



Authentication?

Authentication of an artist's can involve curators, conservation scientists, and conservators. We can direct our clients to professionals who provide this service. You will need to prepare a significant budget to authenticate a painting. This cannot be done on the internet or by sending photos to "experts."



Pest management

Vermin of all types can ruin art collections. We can create anoxic chambers for insect infestation, micro-climates, recommend procedures for pest control, or put you in touch with professionals involved in Integrated Pest Management.



Laboratory analysis

Laboratory analysis of artist materials assist in the identification of pigments, binding materials, adhesives, and other components. Please contact us so that we may facilitate a connection with conservation scientists and laboratories.



Environmental concerns

We assist clients in how to display or store art. This includes temperature, humidity, lighting, and other factors. 



Research and auction records

We access data bases and can often generate a list of auction records to help establish values for your artworks. We do not appraise  or authenticate fine art, but we can make referrals for you.



Photographic documentation



Before, during, and after treatment photos include details, areas of damage, and signatures. Photography, under different lighting conditions, can be a diagnostic tool and uncover previous restorations. We provide color, black and white, slides, digital images, UV light photography, and infrared photography. X radiography is available through our professional associates.



Liason with insurnace companies

We can represent your interests when working with insurance companies or advise you about getting proper coverage.



Condition surveys and documentation



Sometimes collections require a thorough examination to document their condition before treatment, storage, or for various insurance purposes or appraisals. We provide on site examinations with written and photographic documentation.



Referrals to art shippers and handlers

We make recommendations and referrals to those who specialize in art handling and worldwide shipping. Half of the art we treat is damaged in transport.



Archival Storage

Fine art requires an environment within a  limited range of temperature and humidity fluctuations. We use archival storage boxes for  long term storage with acid  free interleaving,  mylar encapsulation, and other storage materials. The creation of micro-environments and closed systems are available through our associates.



Mentoring

MÖBIUS: art conservation is committed to mentoring pre-program students who wish to gain practical conservation skills before entering a graduate program. Student interns learn many basic skills, professional ethics, an introduction to scientific methods, and basic business principles. Student interns are recruited from the UCSC, nearby colleges, or through museums in the area.



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