CONSERVATION OF ART as defined by the maintenance, preservation and/or repair of original artworks with no interruption or alteration to the integrity of the original condition. Strict adherance is required to keeping the artworks in an original condition as if no work or repairs had been applied. Examples include Paintings, Murals, Statues, Decorative Finishes and Antiques.
Ramsdell Theater Act Curtain - Manistee, MI. VanderMoere Studios
Operating as VanderMoere Studios, I was hired in 1999 to conserve and restore the Ramsdell Theater's Act Curtain, painted by Walter Burridge in 1903. The curtain was in it's original state but had suffered from years of damage and neglect. Due to the fragile condition of the canvas, the consensus that the theater had received from other contractors was that the curtain would need to be either mounted to a backing material or to be replaced by a new painting. Mounting it to a substrate would have increased the weight considerably and require the installation of all new rigging to raise and lower the curtain. Replacing it defeated the purpose of having this jewel as the center piece of the theater.
The first order of business was to Strengthen and Stabilize the fabric canvas. I proposed applying an acrylic gesso to the back side of the curtain so to fill in the thread bare condition of the canvas. After cleaning the entire front and back of the curtain, I matched the 3 predominant colors that Burridge used as his base colors from the front of the mural, and applied these colors, tinted into the gesso, to the backside of the curtain. This accomplished 3 very important factors. Sealing the thread bare fabric, Binding the fabric together as a solid and Reinforcing the base colors that were viewed on the front side of the mural. There was no need to change or adjust the rigging as it only added 53 lbs.
It was also necessary to make other repairs to the curtain during this step. Patching tears, Re-stitching the edging bands, re-attachment of the guide hardware to the edging and the canvas to the wood baseboard. The entire back of the curtain was then sealed with a solid coat of gesso.
The decision was made to address the pictorial mural of the curtain by utilizing Conservation Practices. After cleaning and sealing the surface of the curtain, front and back, in-painting techniques were used to match the areas of missing or damaged paint. No other areas of the mural were touched or altered.
Due to the excessive damage and discoloration, particularly at the bottom half of the curtain, Restoration Practices were applied to the border artwork of the curtain. Cleaned colors were matched at the top of the curtain, tracings and measurements were made, and the border was restored to it's original glory.
Ramsdell Theater Dome Mural - Manistee, MI. VanderMoere Studios
The same principles were applied to the Conservation and Restoration of the Dome Mural, painted by Ramsdell's son Frederick, that was applied to the Act Curtain. Conserve the imagery and Restore the large areas of color which was predominantly sky. However, the curtain is a fabric canvas, and the Dome Mural is painted on plaster. The philosophy of treatment remains the same however, due to it being on an entirely different surface, the practices for repair change dramatically.
Areas of the pictorial artwork, where the plaster had delaminated from the substrate, were re-attached and secured. Holes were drilled and an adhesive consolidant was injected to rebond the plaster layers together.
In the areas where there is background, or solid sky coloring, the damaged and delaminated plaster was removed, repaired and replaced. The colors in these areas were re-applied to match the existing colors and sheen level of the surrounding areas.
Oil Paintings VanderMoere Fine Art
Stained Glass Window w/Constructed Light Box Frame - Pilgrim Cong. Church, Lansing, MI VanderMoere Fine Art
I constructed a light box frame that this window is mounted on to. Areas of the stained glass painting were retouched and conserved. This window now hangs on the wall of the chapel and can be enjoyed day and night. You just plug it in.
Conservation Arts Services
With Conservation and New Lighting
With Conservation and
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