Conservation & Restoration of Paintings
Polychrome Objects & Museum Quality Framing
& Art Research
~ Established 1988 ~
by appointment only
If you have Art on Paper, select this link for a referral to a Paper Conservator in your area
19th century copy of Saint Elizabeth and the Lepers from the original Triptych of St. Sebastian by Hans Holbein the Elder in 1516
Dutch Genre Painting
Josef Israels, 19th c.
Oil on panel
Surface dirt, discolored varnish
and over paint removal
Schedule an evaluation on weekdays or weekends that fits your schedule. Santa Cruz is an exceptionally beautiful place to visit for your appointment.
Call for a free phone consultation. We answer the phone or return calls immediately!
Email us a photo from your cell phone to accelerate the process which helps us perform preliminary research.
House Calls are scheduled to evaluate your art collection on-site or we can connect you with a preferred art transporter or advise you on safe shipping to our facility.
Security: We protect out clients' possessions at the studio/lab with a 24 hour security system and video monitoring. Our facility is temperature and humidity controlled.
Museums and Institutions
who have used our services
Cantor Museum, Stanford
Capitola Historical Museum
Sunnyvale Historical Society
National Academy Museum, NY
Rengstorff House, Mountain View
Santa Cruz Natural History Museum
Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz
University of California, Riverside:
Museum of Photography
University of California, Santa Cruz:
Sesnon Art Gallery
Library Special Collections
History of Art & Visual Culture Department
We treat artworks with cultural, historical and monetary value for museums, institutions and collectors. We also work on artworks with mostly sentimental value which are priceless and irreplaceable to our private clients and therefore to us.
Typical Problems With Paintings:
Surface dirt and tears
Artist Unknown, Monogram
Oil on canvas
Surface dirt, a discolored varnish, tears and holes are the most typical problems with old oil paintings. Here one can see small "windows" where we tested different cleaning solutions to reveal the artist's original paint layer. Note the incredible whites and saturated red.
An 11 inch L shaped tear is visible in the vest with masking tape applied on the verso as a temporary repair. This will be filled, textured, and retouched to match the existing colors.
After "lining" the damaged painting to a new Belgian linen canvas, the cleaned and repaired artwork is varnished and ready for framing in a period piece frame.
Above is a high magnification view of the painting surface showing the distincitve yellow discoloration from an natural resin varnish applied by the artist. This is a detail from a painting belonging to the Monterey Museum of Art.
Removing the varnish layer in the test area shows the brilliant ultra marine blue pigment and the brush strokes. We want to reveal what the artist originally intended.
Diagnostics are critically important before recommending treatment options.
There are many causes of flaking paint including environmental conditions and inherent instability and additives used by the artist. If your painting is flaking or turning to powder, call us immediately.
The flaking paint is injected with a suitable adhesive, warmed with heated air, and reattached with a heated teflon spatula. The painting is further protected with silicone release paper.
Fire and flood restoration
It is important to contact a conservator immediately after a disaster to stabilize your artworks and collectibles which will help prevent further damage from occurring. Disaster mitigators can help move your possesions to a safe place but experts are required to work on your valuables. Contact us before you allow the disaster mitigators to move your valuables. This is critical.
This landscape painting and frame was water damaged after a mud slide in Carmel, California, leaving mud across the surface and in the crevices.
The painting and frame were cleaned and colsolidated to prevent further losses. Happily, we were contacted shortly after the flood. It is best not to delay.
Typical Problems With Frames:
Broken ornaments, surface dirt
and gold spray paint
Old frames become brittle when conditions are dry or very humid. Cracks in old frames are typical but, when ornamentation is lost or broken, we must replace them. The above frame was also painted gold which oxidized and turned an unsightly brown.
Often, frames are painted by an owner or eBay seller to make them appear cleaner. This is never a good idea. After stripping down to its bare bones, the above frame was gilded, shellaced and a patina was applied to create the look and feel of antiquity.
Typical Problems With Objects:
Gravity, insect infestion, water and fire,
damage during transport
Rebecca the Water Bearer
Diabladas were originally figures constructed by Peruvian and Bolivian peasants to protect themselves when enslaved and forced by the Spaniards to work in the silver mines. Mid 20th century. Attributed to Antonio Viscarra.
Updated February 12, 2017
© MÖBIUS: art conservation
We serve a large area of central California from Paso Robles to San Francisco and east to Livermore including Los Gatos-Saratoga and the greater San Jose area including Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and Mountain View. Many of our clients come from Los Altos and Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Woodside and Atherton. To the south, we serve Monterey, Salinas, Watsonville, Carmel and Carmel Valley. Many clients come from Oakland and Berkeley and Pleasanton.
Created March 17, 2012