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Thomas Fire and Mudslides- Saving Family Treasures


There are family heirlooms, art, antiques, family history items and treasures that can still be saved and preserved in very good condition in a house that is in this situation! Use care in the removal process. Their preservation can make all the difference for the owners in emotionally recouping from this disaster for years/decades to come. Wow, what a photo above!

Don’t know what to do, need help with questions about insurance claims? ProBono, expert art conservation advice.   http://www.fineartconservationlab.com/disaster-emergency-response/smoke-damage-restoration-of-artwork-antiques-and-collectibles/

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Smoke Damage Restoration of Artwork, Antiques and Collectibles


The Thomas Fire in the Ventura and Santa Barbara areas at the end of 2017 was classified as the largest wildfire (acreage) in the history of California. Over 1000 structures were lost in the firestorm driven by 40-70 mph winds in the backcountry which threatened densely populated areas prompting the mandatory evacuation of more than 16,000 residents with many more voluntarily leaving for more that a couple of weeks. Even though the fire was not driven into the cities, the wind blew smoke and ash onto 100,000s of local residents and polluted skies northward past San Francisco, 600 miles away. Fine Art Conservation Laboratories has a special division of services to offer to disaster response companies, insurance companies and directly to collectors and owners to help respond professionally to the care, restoration and conservation of artwork, collectibles, keepsakes and antiques: Here’s a quick video:

Just today we have processed a dozen or so requests for evaluations and inspections of smoked artwork, sculptures, family photos, model train sets, ceramics and collectibles… all of the cherished items that make up a family’s heritage and history.

Once such family has been in the railroad business for 4 generations and you can image that connection they feel with their family’s memorabilia! What a heartbreak to see the damage but what a wonderful moment to share with them how everything can be cleaned up to good and new.

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Posted in Disaster/Emergency Response | Tagged | 17 Comments

Cleaning a painting with smoke damage 30 sec video


Cleaning smoke damage from artwork, other framed items and collectibles is a service we routinely take care of. Paintings are often darkened by discolored varnish too. This gorgeous tonalist vintage painting, about 1920, by Granville Redmond  re-emerges from the darkness to its former glory. It glowed after we cleaned it and put the conservation grade varnish layers of it.

Questions about cleaning a painting?

Scott M. Haskins, Oriana Montemurro, Virginia Panizzon – Art Conservators

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Posted in Disaster/Emergency Response, In Lab, Painting on canvas | Tagged , | 16 Comments

Can Botched, Over-Restored Art (repainted) Be Saved? Clean an oil painting


Wonder Woman has been busy lately saving the world and now she’s doing art restoration on ancient statues at the Met and saving the world’s heritage too. I’m glad that she sees saving our heritage as an important work worthy of her time and she’s amazing at beating up the bad guys but would you want her “delicate touch” and “trained eye” to restore your artwork?! I don’t recall that education or experience being part of her training on the hidden lost island of Amazon Warrior Women.

BC and AC Wonder Woman low res

Lots of well-intentioned people think that restoring artwork is like “fixing” anything else. Art restorationists with a traditional craftsman background usually have no idea why they use certain materials or do certain techniques other than “that’s the way its always been done.” That’s always been a recipe for disaster. It is common that something horrific usually happens when do-it-your-selfers start restoring historical items (there are standards, guidelines, ethics to follow). Chief culprits are artists who think that because they can paint a painting, they can restore any painting. Their restorations can have severe consequences for the value of the artwork.

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Posted in Painting on canvas, Research and Authentication | Tagged | 15 Comments

Lining Large Paintings Highlighted by American Institute for the Conservation of historic and Artistic Works


An action photo of the lining process (art restoration treatment) of three 30′ paintings in this month’s header of the Facebook page of the AIC, highlighted the art conservation practice of Fine Art Conservation Laboratories. Independent art conservators are represented within AIC in an organization, Conservators in Private Practice (CIPP) and have businesses ranging from sole proprietorships to large companies, they provide support for clients such as artists, private collectors, galleries, corporations, museums, universities, and governmental agencies.

Lining Buck Winn AIC

September’s cover image features AIC Professional Associate Scott Haskins (left) of Fine Art Conservation Laboratories, Inc., who is also a former chair (for 6 years) of the CIPP specialty group. In the image, conservation professionals are lining three sections of the the previously detached 280′ long mural by Buck Winn, “The History of Ranching in Texas”. The murals are in the collection of the Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.

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Posted in In Lab, Murals | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Seville Golden Age of Spanish Painting at the Museum of Fine Arts


By  Scott M. Haskins, Fine Art Conservator

I invite you to come along with me on a recent trip to Seville, Spain. On this trip I was hoping to see and expecting to see the exquisite paintings of the Spanish Golden Age of Painting (1500’s and 1600’s and even the 1700’s)… rooted in Sevilla. Infact, it could be called the Seville Golden Age of Painting because so many of the artists were from that city.

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Posted in Travel | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Expert Historic Preservation Consultant On Extra-Ordinary Baroque Murals Hidden Away in Northern Italy


The magical art of illusion and perspective.

Restoration of historic murals of masterpiece quality.

Garda Lake has been a highly appreciated resort area since Roman times. On one side of the lake is Brescia and the other side is Verona, both centers of culture, cuisine, viticulture, tourism… and “ the good life.” The region around Garda Lake is one of the most varied and colorful cultural destinations in Europe for the highest quality artistic and cultural traditions, its natural resources and environment and its incomparable culinary traditions. The cultural traditions and heritage, music, cuisine and food products from this area of Italy are loved by all countries and have an international market.

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Posted in Historic Buildings - Construction Sites, Murals, Research and Authentication, Travel | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Rip Repair and Saving Historical Painting of Bishop Ranch Santa Barbara (Goleta) by Henry Chapman Ford


Historic Oil Painting from 1875 of Bishop Ranch- Glen Annie in Goleta, CA by Henry Chapman Ford saved from destruction

Scott M. Haskins, Painting Conservator

Bishop Ranch Glen Annie 1875 Santa Barbara 

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Posted in Disaster/Emergency Response, Painting on canvas | Tagged , | 16 Comments

Public Art Protection Varnishing Murals and Oil Paintings for Future Maintenance


One of two 18' ft murals in the gallery

One of two 18′ ft murals in the gallery

A common concern for public art on display is protection against accidents, even vandalism, and to find a way to make the often valuable artwork safe for maintenance. Seismic safety, especially along the Wasatch Front in Utah, both for the artwork and the public was also a concern on the mind of the curator of the Education in Zion Gallery at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, Heather Seferovich.

These concerns are important to address whether the art is new or historical. She consulted with Harold B. Lee Library Head of Conservation, Chris McAfee about the best way to proceed. For these purposes, the gallery hired veteran painting conservation expert, Scott M. Haskins (from Fine Art Conservation Laboratories in Santa Barbara, CA) who also provides art conservation services for the History Dept of the LDS Church in Salt Lake City, UT.

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Posted in Disaster/Emergency Response, Murals | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Preservation Idaho Award


The State of Idaho named Fine Art Conservation Laboratories (FACL, Inc.) in its award of the Orchid and Onion Award from The Idaho Historic Preservation Council for the mural conservation treatments of the two Minerva Teichert murals in the extensive renovation of the LDS Tabernacle in Montpelier, Idaho in 2015.

The murals were removed from the building in order for them to not be damaged from the extensive demolition that was to take place. During their removal, considerable mold behind the canvases of the murals was discovered.

The murals received the mural restoration treatments at FACL’s facilities and then were reinstalled after all other renovation work was completed. Click here for a blog post with a short video about that work.

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