We are pleased to offer personalized service for the repair, restoration and conservation of old and damaged oil paintings and acrylic paintings. Bring your artwork in for a free appraisal of what can be done to reverse the effects of neglect and time. -Bruce Wood, MFA, oil painting conservation specialist.
A 19th century oil painting of sheep by Rosa Bonheur (French, 1822-1899) was heading for obscurity when rescued by a pair of collectors. Careful restoration saved it from further damage.
The video above describes the processes used to revive it.
From the owners:
"Amazing and exciting. Truly brought back from the dead...we love it and it hangs in a place of distinction where we’re sure to see it every day. We’re now on the hunt for you next project!"
Clean Oil Paintings (the Woodshed Gallery's art conservation department)
underwrites both Antiques Roadshow and Downton Abbey on RIPBS.
Conservator Bruce Wood, the Cardi Brothers (Cardi's Furniture) and an illustrious cast of
RIPBS Celebrities joined together to create their own version of the popular series. See the video here.
This 18th century portrait of Maximilian III, from the workshop of Georges Desmares had most of its paint! The face and details were carefully reconstructed, based on the remaining outlines and bits of pigment.
From the owners: "We are THRILLED with the work you've done on our painting! We literally gasped when we saw "our man". I had stared at that painting for countless hours and never realized his hair was long and cascading down his shoulder! We are very excited ... Thank you so much..."
Bruce Wood repairing an oil painting which had humidity damage caused by a flood. The painting shrank, causing extreme tension and tears in the canvas. In addition to repairing the tears, the painting was relined (adhered to a new piece of canvas).
This painting is approximately sixty years old, and was never varnished. Over the years, the oil of the paint had oxidized, and attracted a layer of grime. Cleaning included removing yellowed oils along with the dirt.
The owner of this painting preferred to keep it looking aged, so the canvas remained unvarnished.
The relined canvas was stretched onto new supports and reinstalled in the original frame.
Collector Lawrence Branagan with his early 19th Century portrait,
after cleaning and restoration.
A thank-you note from a collector of Arthur Diehl's paintings:
September 30, 2013
Dear Mr. Wood,
I wanted to thank
you for the beautiful work
restoring our Arthur Diehl
Paintings. Eventually, I will bring
the previously cleaned paintings
in for appraisal. (Two that
were cleaned & repaired at
RISD.) Your work was far
Thank you again...
This small (10 inches high) portrait of a lovely little girl was painted in Maine in the late 1890's. It had a heavy layer of grime and darkened varnish, but the worst damage was caused by an old attempt at cleaning which partially removed the paint on her face and the background above. Careful cleaning revealed the basic outlines of the hair, eyes and nose, which were used as a guide in re-creating the face.
The above detail of a painting by Edward Potthast shows how cleaning and new varnish can bring back contrast and colors in an old oil painting.
A 17th century French altar panel required delicate cleaning and in-painting.
The above portrait shows silent-film star Rudolph Valentino in the costume of
his last role. Valentino is believed to have sat for this portrait,
and it belonged to one of his co-stars for many years.
Unfortunately, a subsequent owner wasn't a Valentino fan,
and stored this bit of Hollywood history in a damp basement.
The paint was lifting all-over and resembled a mess of potato chips.
Careful re-gluing, patching and retouching were needed to restore the
leading-man's heart-throb appearance.
The above painting was made about 1910, and suffered from poor materials, water damage and shrinking, which literally tore it apart.
After careful reconstruction, it is beautiful again!
Love's Melancholy, (above)
collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.
The painting on the left is possibly a
study for this highly-finished piece.
The circa 1865 oil painting above had multiple tears and scrapes, along with a thick layer of grime.
During restoration, it was discovered that the painting may be a study for Love's Melancholy,
an 1866 oil painting by Constant Mayer (1829-1911) which is in the collection of The Art Institute of Chicago.
The loose and cracked paint was consolidated, and a vapor treatment helped relax the painting.
It was lined onto a new piece of polyester canvas, cleaned, holes repaired, and in-painted.
A new coat of non-yellowing varnish brought out all the details.
This painting of sunrise in Venice was covered in multiple layers of dirt and yellowed varnish. It also suffered from a few tears, holes and general neglect. Once cleaned and repaired, the drama of the morning light has returned.
This view of our studio shows paintings of the Deans and Presidents of Dean College in various stages of repair.
The photo on the right is a detail of the 1864 portrait of Oliver Dean during cleaning and varnish removal. Turns out he didn't have a tan!
This oil portrait of a former Superintendant of the Boston Public Schools
had been wrapped in newspaper and stored in a hot attic for decades.
The heat caused the paint to melt in spots and bond with the newspaper. Also, the painting had never been varnished, and severe oxidation caused discoloration in the face and an overall haze on the surface of the painting, obscuring many details. There was also a small (one inch) hole in the shirt and tie.
After cleaning, restoring and conserving the painting, the colors have returned to what the artist intended.
Years of accumulated soot and grime were removed from this antique Peruvian Cuzco School painting of the Archangel Uriel.
This early Twentieth Century oil portrait of Belle Dole, wife of James Drummond Dole (founder of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company in 1901)
had suffered from humidity and a fall. There was a puncture at the tip of her nose, several severe cracks, discolored varnish, and off-color paint from an old restoration.
When uncovering the back of the painting, we discovered that the artist painted Mrs. Dole on top of a painting of a child! The outlines of the original image can be seen in the above photo of the back of the canvas.
The portrait received a vapor treatment to relax the cracks, and was lined onto archival polyester canvas to reinforce it. The old varnish was removed, the puncture was repaired, and the face was in-painted and retouched. After a coat of non-yellowing varnish, Belle looks like she's returned from a spa.
This portrait, reputed to be of Virginia Woolf, was painted by Boston artist
Mary Catherine Callan in the early 1900's. Somewhere between then and now,
the portrait collected a thick layer of grime and a few punctures. The ear was almost totally lost.
This faded and water-stained portrait was stabilized and rejuvinated.
This 1921 oil painting on wooden panel had been in-expertly painted over (white paint covers the chest)
and it was neglected for years. The original painting was never varnished, and the over-painting had
bonded with the original paint. Even so, it was mostly removed and then retouched.