Friday, December 20, 2013

LA ART SHOW - Mega cool expo at the LA Convention Center

LAST YEAR THE LA ART SHOW HELD AT THE LA CONVENTION CENTER HAS ITS BIGGEST ATTENDANCE EVER WITH LOTS OF CREATIVITY AND BEAUTY TO SEE AND ENJOY. ITS THE PREMIER ART GIG IN THE WESTERN US FOR THE YEAR. VINTAGE AND CONTEMPORARY PAINTING DEALERS FROM ALL OVER THE US AND FROM ABROAD COME TO SHOW OFF THEIR BEST PAINTINGS. THE TRADITIONAL WORKS OF ART ARE SEPARATED FROM THE CONTEMPORARY ART WHICH MAKES FOR TWO DISTINCT VISUAL EXPERIENCES... ACTUALLY THREE! DON’T MISS THE ART PRINT SHOW.


FINE ART CONSERVATION LABORATORIES WILL BE THERE TO TALK TO COLLECTORS, GIVE COLLECTION CARE TIPS,  DISCUSS AUTHENTICATION QUESTIONS AND, OF COURSE, ANSWER RESTORATION QUESTIONS.  LAST YEAR WE HAD IN THE BOOTH A PAINTING SOME FOLKS FOUND IN A CLOSET. IT SOLD A FEW MONTHS LATER FOR $1.4 MILLION AT CHRISTIES IN HONG KONG. THE WINNING-THE-LOTTERY-TYPE STORY IS TOLD IN THIS QUICK VIDEO:

WHEATHER YOU WOULD LIKE TO GIVE THE EXPO A QUICK WALK THROUGH OR COME BACK AGAIN AND AGAIN, CALL US FOR FREE TICKETS FOR THE FULL 4 DAY EVENT WORTH $100 BEING HELD AT THE LA CONVENTION CENTER ON JANUARY 16 -19, 2014. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE AT THE REALLY FUN PARTY, COME TO THE EVENING OPENING GALA WED. JAN. 15TH. CALL US FOR DETAILS AT 805 564 3438




Friday, November 15, 2013

Cowboy Painting by Maynard Dixon Newly Discovered - Time Lapse Cleaning Video

Maynard Dixon is usually a favorite of the Old West, Western Art and early Impressionism so its always fun to see a "new" painting, that's been hidden away (and in this case unappreciated!) resurface after 110 years! Steven Stern Fine Arts brought this gorgeous painting to us for art conservation treatments. Its hard to believe that someone tried to clean it before us! See the short 2 min time laps video of the process of cleaning a painting at  http://www.fineartconservationlab.com/in-lab/maynard-dixon-painting-restoration-art-conservation/

We've cleaned some of Dixon's great paintings over the years like the one here below. Enjoy the video!


Art conservation questions? Call Scott M. Haskins 805 895 5121
Art appraisal questions? Call Richard Holgate 805 895 5121

Monday, November 11, 2013

Insights into Art Masterpieces by Scott M. Haskins, Art Conservator


Many of you have enjoyed the art history video tours where I've taken you through some great galleries/museums. Here's another I think you will enjoy no matter how little you know about art or history: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZITYx1QmBc 

Be sure to "like" the video and this page. 
Pass it around/share this?

For a video tour of the art conservation lab go to
Painting restoration questions? Call Scott M. Haskins 805 564 3438
Art appraisal questions? Call Richard Holgate at 805 895 5121

Saturday, August 17, 2013

“Monuments Men” and "Saving Italy” How did Europe's great works of art survive the destruction of World War II?


How did Europe's great works of art survive the destruction of World War II? Robert Edsel, author of “Monuments Men” and "Saving Italy” gives you the details and incredible story.

I just download “Saving Italy” in audio format and can't wait to get into it. But right now, I'm listening to the precursor to this book which is “Monuments Men” which is due to come out in a movie with George Cloonie and Matt Damon this Sept. When the author was gathering info for his book, it became too massive and he couldn't whiddle it down... so he published the very interesting details of saving Europe's art during WWII in these two separate books.

The books and audio are available on Amazon. Click on the book’s name for the link.



Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Great Story that Will Make You Gasp - Finding a treasure at a garage sale


I was on the phone yesterday with Scot Levitt, the head of the painting department for Bonham and Butterfields Auction House and he told me a story that he said I could tell you. The story came up because we were talking about the successful sale the evening before and how a painting had sold for twice its $175K estimate. I mentioned to him that is must feel great for him when he helps people to sell their items so successfully and that he must be awash in bottles of wine etc given in gratitude. He mentioned that this never happens and he almost never hears again from the sellers even if the sale is great for them. “Well”, I said, “I can that because most people don’t live their lives with an attitude of gratitude.”

Then he said that he had an exception to that comment: Several months ago a “picker” (a name in the art trade for people who scour the garage sales etc for paintings of value, then resell them to the auction house or to dealers for a quick profit) found a painting in a Pacific Palisades garage sale (a rich residential community by Santa Monica, CA). 

The lady watching over her sale was selling a poorly framed item she thought was a poster. He mentioned to her he thought it was a real painting. She blew him off and treated him with indifference so he bought it for the $15 she was asking.

He drove the painting immediately to see Scot Levitt (about 30 minutes) where it was confirmed that it was a painting. It sold a few months later for $375,000.00!!! He was so thankful that he bought Scot an entire case of a fine wine, a highly unusual gesture. But he did next made me gasp… he drove back to the lady’s house where the garage sale had been and he surprised her with a check for $100,000!!! So, what do you think of THAT??!!

One of the most valuable analytical tools that a picker, a collector, an antiquer can use is a UV black light to help see invisible characteristics and details on paintings. For an article on this and a short video go to this page: http://tipsforfineartcollectors.org/blacklight-package/


Questions about analyzing artwork? Call Scott M. Haskins at 805 564 3438

Questions about appraisals? Call Richard Holgate at 805 895 5121

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hidden Paintings, Covert Art: Once lost is now found- Intriguing and mysterious. Why would someone do SUCH a thing?!

Hidden from the IRS? The Nazis? Technology and luck help to find lost masterpieces.


Hidden Paintings: Lost and Forgotten, But Now They Are Found

Do I hear and “Amen!” to the fact that one of the most entertaining thoughts as a collector is to find another painting under the one you bought?! OMGosh, the stories that are told about hiding art from the Nazis or the IRS (no, I won’t comment), artists reusing their canvases and many more are plentiful and we hear them often here at Fine Art Conservation Laboratories. I have so many great stories of our adventures that my office manager keeps insisting that I write a book. Many of these stories involving “discovering hidden art.” I don’t think I’ll be a threat, however, for Daniel Silva! I do get comments once in awhile that I remind people of his main character who is an art restorer and spy. I read one of his books on a plane trip a few months ago. It was a page turner and I read the whole thing on the round trip.

One of the investigative tools that I use in professional art conservation is an infrared reflectometer to look under the thin layers of paint to see what we can see. In fact I made a video about Hidden Signatures on Paintings Discovered with Infrared” that has been quite popular and educational for art collectors. In fact, I was called and then used as the main expert on the hugely popular CNBC television series Treasure Detectives for their final episode of last season.

I used an infrared reflectometer when we received into the lab a really nice California Coastal scene by Orrin White, perhaps the nicest painting by this artist that I had ever seen. The back of the painting was painted white. An odd thing. So, we looked at this white backside and saw a ghost image in the monitor of a mountain, trees and perhaps a lake. The owner agreed to a cleaning test and we were able to remove some white paint to reveal the nice colors of the painting underneath. Finally, the curiosity was too much for the owner and we cleaned the white paint off to reveal…


At this point, I’m almost always asked, “Can you split the canvas so to end up with two paintings?” No, paintings on canvas cannot be done. However, I have done this work on a double sided artist pulp board panel that was made from layers of paper and that was thick enough to split safely for the paintings.

Cleaning off the overpaint from a painting that’s been “hidden” is a sketchy proposition. It worked to perfection in the painting mentioned above. But was less successful, yet super intriguing, with a portrait of well know LA art dealer, Earl Stendahl by an artist named Werner in 1932. The painting belonged to the old art dealer’s grandson but on the back of the painting was noted the Guy Rose estate stamp and an exhibition label for Rising Mists by Guy Rose. Whaaa?!?!?!  After inspection with infrared and the above described cleaning tests, it was decided to get into the removal of the portrait to rediscover the long lost painting by Guy Rose. Here’s what the result of the portrait removal was…



While the final picture matched the post-mortum exhibition catalog illustration for Rising Mists, the sale of the painting afterwards has not been successful. Personally, I like the picture a lot.

We’ve got another painting in the lab that has an abstract figurative painting over what appears as a landscape underneath. The top painting is flaking badly. The family history on the painting is that it was being hid back in the 1930’s from debt collectors cause it was super valuable. We’ll see… I’ve also had paintings brought to me that were painted over treasure maps being hid from the Nazis and smuggled out. A waste of time? Well, at least there’s a good story and a “look” in the eye of the owner.

I also once found an ad for a horseless carriage stretched over stretcher bars UNDER another stretched canvas of a historical building done in 1906. That was fun, but not as interesting as the recent article you can read here:


Museum has one more painting than it thought

Another work discovered during restoration of Frank C. Ashford painting  July 20, 2013|Staff reports


When a Frank C. Ashford painting was sent to Minneapolis to be restored, the Dacotah Prairie Museum found it had one more Ashford painting than it thought.
 The museum has long owned an original Ashford oil painting called “Portrait of a Young Woman.” With the support of the Yellow Brick Road Quester Club, the museum hired the Midwest Art Conservation Center in Minneapolis to restore “Portrait of a Young Woman.”
 While the painting was in Minneapolis, the conservator removed the canvas from the frame to discover another painting of another young woman underneath.
 “This new Ashford painting, which will become part of the museum collection, is truly a gift since no one knew of its existence,” according to a museum news release.
 The two pieces will be jointly unveiled at a reception on Tuesday.
 The revitalization of “Portrait of a Young Woman” was completed with money raised by Aberdeen's Yellow Brick Road Quester Club and a South Dakota Preservation and Restoration Grant from the state Questers organization.

http://articles.aberdeennews.com/2013-07-20/lifestyle/40699714_1_ashford-painting-museum-collection


So, if you’ve read this far you are seriously in love with the art world. I trust you know the in’s and out’s of utilizing UV to inspect paintings for previous restorations and monkey business? It’s a major point of focus to learn to use this technology well, as an art collector. This is the due diligence that will raise questions that will save you $10,000’s or more, depending on your budget. Here’s a link to some videos and more info: UV Blacklight info



For art conservation and painting restoration questions call Scott M. Haskins 805 564 3438 or faclartdoc@gmail.com

For art appraisal questions call Richard Holgate at 805 895 5121 or jrholgate@yahoo.com

See short videos by Scott M. Haskins on art conservation related subjects at YouTube channel “Bestartdochttp://www.youtube.com/user/bestartdoc?feature=mhee

See short do-it-yourself videos on collection care and emergency preparedness for art collectors, family history items, heirlooms, memorabilia at Youtube Channel “preservationcoachhttp://www.youtube.com/user/preservationcoach

To learn more about what you can do at home to take care of your stuff, download now a copy of Scott Haskins’ book, How To Save Your Stuff From A Disaster at 50% off! CLICK HERE to know more: http://saveyourstuffblog.com/products-supplies/

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Art Restoration, Painting Conservation, Art Conservation, Repair Art Los Angeles, Santa Monica

A new video shows a summary of our art conservation and painting restoration work in the Los Angeles, CA area. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5K5CIUWVp8



http://www.fineartconservationlab.com/  Highest quality professional art conservation and restoration services. Door to door service. Conservation questions? Call Scott M. Haskins 805 564 3438  Also, fine art insurance claims consultant and expert witness in art related matters.

See who our clients are and about our background.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/bestartdoc?feature=mhee


Keywords:
faclinc, Art Restoration, Painting Conservation, Restoration of a painting, Painting restoration, Art Conservation, Repair Art, Clean a painting, fix a rip in a painting, Scott M. Haskins, Japanese American National Museum, mural conservation, mural restoration, Jonathan Club, WPA murals, Olympic Murals, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Brentwood, Belair, West Hollywood, Pasadena, Glendale, Alta Dena, Encino, Pacific Palisades, Mailbu, West Los Angeles,

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Goddess Diana Art Conservation Treatments at Philadelphia Museum of Art


A couple of years ago I made a video wile I walked through the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I was surprised how many people commented and enjoyed that walk through with me. Here's the link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFULHuqJ6kw

In that video I highlighted the statue of the Goddess Diana the which was just announced that the Bank of America is funding conservation treatments and regilding. Here's an interesting article about it: http://www.artdaily.org/index.asp?int_sec=11&int_new=63474#.Ucn3jhb9NjQ

The question comes up every once in awhile, "How ethical is it to redo, repaint, refinish artwork"? That's a good question! If you strip and refinish important valuable furniture, you will seriously impact the value. But, stripping a vintage car down to the metal and redoing it can enhance the value. If you repaint a damaged painting, the value goes into the toilet. But the Chinese restorers cover over damage on old ceramics so to make the damage undetectable (they think)... the value of its original nature is greatly compromised. A historic structure gets completely redone from top to bottom and it adds value to the property. If you over clean valuable wood duck decoys, the value is nil.


In this case, the worry is not about its monetary value but concerns the original nature of a historic statue. The idea with this art conservation intervention is to take it back to its original appearance but I question whether this is heavy handed. Goddess Diana has a history. Let her show off the testimonial conditions and let her be what she is now, today. She will be stunning in gold I'm sure. But her historic wrinkles will be botoxed away.

For a video tour of our lab go to http://www.fineartconservationlab.com
Art conservation questions? Call Scott M. Haskins 805 564 3438
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Controversial WPA Mural is Uncovered.... AGAIN!

Rediscovering lost murals?... How can you loose a mural?! Well, this controversial WPA 1930's mural by Harry Donald Jones was painted out, then cleaned, then painted out... all at the command of federal judges! Then the building was traded... what a mixed up deal! Now the Beaux Arts classical federal courthouse has been rehabbed to be  the City hall for Cedar Rapids Iowa and Scott M. Haskins  and FACL been doing the mural conservation and art restoration uncovering this high profile mural in the City Council Chambers the last couple of weeks.



Here's the scoop:http://www.fineartconservationlab.com/wpa-mural-restoration-in-city-hall-of-cedar-rapids-iowa/

Friday, April 26, 2013

Valuable Granville Redmond painting found in storage boxes

A lady called the other day who is not "into art." But she was going through her mother's boxes that were left to her and had been in storage for some time. In the box she found this little 12' x 14' painting and didn't really think about it. It really didn't appeal to her. But she could read the name, Granville Redmond 1915. Fortunately for her, she Googled the name and wowie kazowie! It was nice to know also that she Googled for someone to clean it for her and she found our website at http://www.fineartconservationlab.com/. And it was nice to know several people she talked to confirmed that she should come to see us.

So we've cleaned this nice tonalist piece and thought you'd like to see it, freshly discovered from being "lost" since it was bought back in the 20's, she said.

If you saw this for sale, would you have "black lighted" it? What would you have seen? Learn more about doing your due diligence when you buy paintings (and other collectibles) by clicking on this link: http://www.fineartconservationlab.com/uv-blacklight/



Thursday, April 11, 2013

Can I Clean My Oil Painting Myself?

"I have several oil paintings, old and dirty. Is there some way I can clean them myself?" I get asked the question often, so I'm going to answer it publicly: 

Here's the answer... and it IS a great question. Oil and acrylic painting have many painting techniques through the ages that make them susceptible to damage if you don't know what you are doing. 

Added to that is what ever is on the surface (nicotine, discolored varnish, grime... varnished over grime, lacquer, linseed oil varnish to name a few). Each is taken off in a different way. 

Those two conditions (technique plus the type of stuff you want cleaned off) make cleaning pictures the main reason and way that paintings are often damaged by inept people. 

The only cleaning technique I can offer, then, is saliva and Q-tips! You might say, "Ewwww! Spit on my painting!?!?!?! Well, the enzymes will help remove grime and by using saliva, you won't use enough water to damage the art. 

We sometimes clean paintings with saliva inch by inch and, in fact, may have a 3'x4' French Impressionist painting worth $millions coming into the lab in about 10 days that we will clean with this exact technique. The attached photo shows a painting during cleaning that took hours and hours to remove with a number of toxic solvents and lots of know how. 

See the time lapse video of the cleaning on this page: http://www.fineartconservationlab.com/edgar-payne-art-restoration-and-conservation-expertise/

Art conservation questions? Call Scott M. Haskins 805 564 3438
Art appraisal questions? Call Richard Holgate at 805 895 5121
Questions about the painting in this video? Call Steve Stern at 310 729 6666

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

TREASURE DETECTIVES AUTHENTICATION OF STRADIVARIUS VIOLIN UTILIZED THE UV BLACK LIGHT - Learn more


LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE OF TREASURE DETECTIVES ON CNBC DEALT WITH THE AUTHENTICATION OF A STRADIVARIUS VIOLIN AND ONE OF THE “TESTS” OR METHODS OF EXAMINATION UTILIZED THE UV BLACK LIGHT.


The UV light is a standard method of inspection (or should be!) among vintage painting collectors and art conservators to help see invisible clues in the surface varnish layers. It’s interesting though that most painting collectors mistakenly consider the UV black light a simple method to understand/read. Perhaps that’s because a black light is commonly available to anyone for a reasonable price while other methods of analysis are more expensive and require more expert knowledge. In other words, there is MUCH more to see than just some purple spots that may be retouching.
 
 Here is what I hope is a good review of the use of a UV black light for looking at antique paintings. (Click on the link/colored words) However, a UV light is VERY useful for looking at and inspecting all antiques and collectibles…. I hear they are also useful for seeing scorpions in the dark.

Here is the link to this complete article at Tips for Art Collectors. Generally, thumbs up to Treasure Detectives for making a technical show entertaining. I’m a fan and stay tuned… I’m also in an upcoming episode!

Questions? Call Scott M. Haskins, art conservator at 805 564 34387
Art appraisal questions? Call Richard Holgate at 805 895 5121

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fake Art... I inspected 3 of them today before noon!


Treasure Detectives TV program is on CNBC tonight... this is the second episode in this new season pilot... should be fun to watch.  We deal with the problem of fake art all the time: Today in the lab, I had to "debunk" or pass a verdict of "FAKE!" on three paintings... all before noon! One was supposed to be by Matisse, one by Franz Bischoff and another by Maynard Dixon. My gosh they were horrible. The lady had bought them after she did research in the internet.

Sold on Ebay as a real painting, turns out that it was a print


Not only don't people know what they are buying but they don't know what they are selling. Ebay is awash with bogus art. Of course, I'm giving some of these people the benefit of the doubt and I'm saying they're just idiots and not fraudulent.

I could write volumes on fake paintings that have passed my way. Some of the stories are great. One of the techniques I use to examine the condition of art is ultraviolet light. Do you know how to use a black light when inspecting paintings? Here's a quick video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeR8_u5qSJM

Questions? Call Scott M. Haskins at 805 564 3438
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Friday, March 8, 2013

Treasure Detectives on CNBC was fun tonight!


Check out Treasure Detectives on CNBC. The show this evening was fun stuff: https://www.facebook.com/TreasureDetectives

Did I tell you that they will be doing an episode with me evaluating art with Curtis (the host) with infrared? They saw my short video and "had to have me." Here's my short vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxOqa-Aa9Nk


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Gorgeous Painting by William Kendall - Short Video

Nice short video about the art conservation - painting restoration of a gorgeous painting by William Sargent Kendall for the Springville Museum of Art by Fine Art Conservation Laboratories - Scott M. Haskins. Rita Wright, Director invites you to see the museum: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qx_pt3P3_yw


Art conservation questions? Call Scott M. Haskins 805 564 3438
Art appraisal questions? Call Richard Holgate at 805 895 5121

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Flaking on Paintings 3 good tips for art collectors



by Eleanor Nelson, Guest Blogger

Flaking paint may start in quantities too small to see. In this way it can be a problem that is easy to miss, and exacerbate. The natural (even well-intentioned) urge to clean a painting tends, unfortunately, to manifest in wiping the surface down. This should never be done, whether the cloth used is wet or dry. A damp cloth can cause canvas to expand and contract which leads to further flaking and result in damage rather quickly.



Even a dry cloth, however, can do damage. Areas of flaking that only a trained conservator would spot may only need the encouragement of a sweep of a rag to begin dropping away. If you see flaking, it is best to not touch the affected area at all. When a problem arises, there can be enormous temptation to use our hands to try and solve it – even seasoned art experts can be guilty of touching paintings they know will flake. Each bit of flaking increases the time – and money - that will have to be spent on the project. The more that can be preserved, the better the chances are that the painting’s value will not drop too much.

Unfortunately, people may think they are being extra helpful by using cleaning solutions or solvents to clean a grubby painting. Never do this! Leave it to the professionals! Conservators train long and hard to learn the extremely complicated processes of cleaning works with solvents and even with training each piece requires the meticulous use of very small quantities of these powerful chemicals. Someone without training could damage a painting and impact its value very quickly indeed.

Finally, if you have noticed cracking or flaking, check to see if the piece is being exposed to a heat source like heating vents… even fireplaces, which aren’t used very much for heating these days but are still favorite places to hang paintings, are a less-obvious threat and so could feasibly cause more damage over time.

If you have found us because a similar situation has already happened, don’t despair. The good news is that the below references are trained professionals and the purpose of their job is, more often than not, erasing life’s mistakes large and small.


For art conservation and painting restoration questions call Scott M. Haskins 805 564 3438 or faclartdoc@gmail.com

For art appraisal questions call Richard Holgate at 805 895 5121 or jrholgate@yahoo.com

See short videos by Scott M. Haskins on art conservation related subjects at YouTube channel “Bestartdochttp://www.youtube.com/user/bestartdoc?feature=mhee

See short do-it-yourself videos on collection care and emergency preparedness for art collectors, family history items, heirlooms, memorabilia at Youtube Channel “preservationcoachhttp://www.youtube.com/user/preservationcoach

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Scott M. Haskins

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Art collector's Survey - even if you are not "all that."

A student is writing a thesis in England that would like art collectors to fill out a survey. So I thought I'd help her spread the word around. I did it and it seemed harmless. Even if you are not a sophisticated collector of expensive art, I'm sure she would still like to hear from you. Its an anonymous type of survey. Fill it out! She posted the request on my Facebook page Tips For Art Collectors. http://www.facebook.com/TipsforArtCollectors/posts/128868110618623?ref=notif&notif_t=share_wall_create

Questions about art conservation and how it influences collecting? Call Art conservator Scott Haskins at 805 56 3438

Questions about art appraisals? Call International Appraiser Richard Holgate at 805 895 5121

While you are at Tips For Art Collectors, "friend us"!

Ciao.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Painting Restoration on Artist's Wife and Daughters by William Sargent Kendall 1906

We just finished working on a gorgeous picture by William Sargent Kendall of his wife and two daughters painted in 1906. It belongs to the Springville Museum of Art and we'll be taking it back to them in two weeks. We'll be sad. It so beautiful and we love looking at it in the lab. 

This article about the artwork and its art conservation treatments was written by FACL paintings conservator Oriana Montemurro: http://www.fineartconservationlab.com/in-lab/william-sargent-kendall’s-“the-artist’s-wife-and-daughters”-in-the-lab-for-art-conservation-treatments/