Fine Art Conservation Laboratories (FACL, Inc.) Fine art conservation, painting conservation, art restoration Fri, 07 Oct 2016 21:42:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fine art conservation, painting conservation, art restoration Fine Art Conservation Laboratories (FACL, Inc.) Fine art conservation, painting conservation, art restoration Fine Art Conservation Laboratories (FACL, Inc.) Family Heirloom Painting Restoration in Salt Lake City – Testimonial Sat, 24 Sep 2016 18:15:30 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

“What is a painting worth” is a subject I’ve written on several times; there’s financial value, emotional value and historical value. It’s doubly nice when your emotional ties or historical connection, like with a family heirloom, is also a really nice work of art. Affecting value, is the condition and the needed oil painting restoration (painting conservation, art conservation, art restoration) like rip repair, cleaning a painting, flaking paint repair.

This family heirloom and collectible painting, inherited from the owner’s grandmother was painted in the 1890s and was still gorgeous but suffering badly from all three of the above problems. Here’s a photo of the flaking paint that was caused by the canvas getting wet, dripped across the back probably unprotected in storage.

Oil painting flaking water damage

Oil painting flaking water damage

Call us to discuss your questions. Free evaluations at your home or business. Pick up and delivery. Highest quality professional art conservation work, standards of practice and ethic. Damaged art insurance claims.

Fine Art Conservation Laboratories is very well known throughout the Salt Lake City area and Provo/Orem. Feel free to ask us for references .

Click here for background info of work in Utah:

Click here for other testimonials:


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Contact info

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

805 564 3438 office

805 570 4140 mobile




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19th c. Oil Painting Restoration Caveats and Tips for Vintage Art Collectors – Maritime Painting Exam Notes Wed, 21 Sep 2016 04:48:36 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

It may surprise you that many of the paintings of ships that highlight a particular ship with its flags and name clearly visible are actually a portrait of the ship. Portraits of ships were very popular at the middle and the end of the 1800s. It is also interesting to know that many of these paintings of ships hung in the cabins of the ship in the painting. Therefore some of these paintings have had serious time at sea.

It is very common, therefore, that maritime paintings have been in very bad conditions and circumstances. Bouncing around the ocean along with the ship is only part of the problem. Of course high humidity and actual water are serious problems. And you can imagine as things swing around the cabin in high seas how easy it is that these paintings on canvas get punctured and ripped. If you don’t already know, 19th century oil paintings (of all kinds of paintings from all countries) have extremely brittle fabric as they age… and rip easily.

Another serious setback to the normal health of paintings of ships is the fact that people on the ships are used to fixing everything themselves so when the painting needed cleaning or needed a rip repaired or needed new varnish it was worked on by the handy guy on the ship with poor quality materials and bad restoration techniques. They had no idea what materials and art conservation techniques helped or hurt long term preservation.

It is, in fact, surprising to find a 19th century maritime painting that hasn’t been treated very poorly and repaired very poorly.

Up to now I’ve been talking about portraits of ships for ocean vessels. You can imagine that river and lake vessels would not be so hard on a painting as in the ocean. But still, life on a boat is not ideal for the long term preservation of an oil painting.

Given how common inept restorations are on these types of paintings, some of the common things that I’ve encountered may be good for you to know:

  • If you own a maritime painting and have to get an appraisal. The supposed value could be quite different than the actual value once the actual condition is determined. For instance, one of the types of damage that first results in a substantial decrease in value is damage to the rigging from cleaning. Redrawing or repainting the missing rigging does not restore the value on the open market, according to the dealers that I have worked with.
  • If you are thinking of buying a painting of a ship, this “tip” could save you $10,000’s either from paying too much or to give you something to use to negotiate.

Consider also the following condition issues on maritime paintings:

  1. Other easily damaged details are white water caps and foam in the water easily removed when paintings are scrubbed.
  2. 19th century maritime paintings often are painted with a porous paint quality that is easily stained in the clouds in the sky. In addition the ground layer or the gesso layer under the paint is often easily stained while aging as it was common to brush the back of the painting with the resin that discolored badly. Most of the pigments on these paintings are transparent and so the staining of the gesso or ground layers show through.

Almost all of the old varnishes used to coat these paintings were resins and varnishes that were used on ships. That means they discolored very badly and do-it-yourself-urs find it very difficult to remove without damaging the original paint.

Once scrubbed, repainting is done with a big brush and oil paint, which of course, does additional damage and further erodes the value and authenticity. Here is short video showing some paintings that were in our art conservation lab recently. It includes the testimonial of a painting’s owner who decided to do a partial treatment to improve (remove the previous poor quality restorations) the appearance of just the water.

What do you think? How “worth it” is this type of partial restoration treatment?

Leave a comment and a thumbs up!

Contact info

Scott M. Haskins, Virginia Panizzon, Oriana Montemurro (Art Conservators)

805 564 3438 office

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Art Restoration of Paintings of Old Spanish Missions of California by Edwin Deakin in the Santa Barbara Mission Archive and Library Thu, 08 Sep 2016 22:46:12 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Click here for short video of the painting conservation lab tour:

Click here for the website of Santa Barbara Mission Archives and Library:

To review the book on the mission paintings

by Edwin Deakin

click on this link: (coming soon) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Contact info:

Dr. Monica Orozco, Director

Santa Barbara Museum Archives and Library

805 682 4713


Scott M. Haskins, Head of Conservation

Fine Art Conservation Laboratories

805 564 3438

Carmel Mission by Edwin Deakin

Hello my name is Scott Haskins, Painting Conservator and Head of Conservation at Fine Art Conservation Laboratories ( and I am excited to tell you about the art conservation of the gorgeous paintings of the old Spanish missions of California by Edwin Deakin done between 1897 and 1899.

The 21 paintings of the missions of California by Edwin Deakin are part of the collection at the Santa Barbara Mission Archives Library ( under the direction of Dr. Monica Orozco.

Though the California missions were painted by many artists in the 1800’s only a couple of artists did complete sets of all the missions. Among the most famous was Henry Chapman Ford who painted a series of all the missions 20 years earlier. But of all the artists in the 1800’s, Deakin’s moody old Spanish mission paintings are the most beautiful, the most artistic and the highest quality. The artist, of course, love these paintings when they were finished… so much, in fact, that he set a high price on them individually, and as a collection, so that they would never sell and they would stay together as a collection.

The paintings have been well cared for over the past 120 years and have reached our day in a fairly good condition. They were donated in the 1950’s by the very generous Elaine and Howard Willoughby. Let me share with you some of the preservation and art restoration details that were done to help this paintings look their best.

Tests were performed to make sure that the treatments were safe for the artwork. The cleaning spot in the video showed how discolored the varnish layers were, as we removed the varnish layers from the paintings you can see in the video the difference that it made in returning the paintings to their original colors. Gathers on the corners of the paintings were relaxed and pulled out. The original frames had oxidized, had changed colors and were splitting at the corners. Deakin painted his crest and signature at the back of many of the paintings and often made notations as you can see in the video.

In the video is a quick viewing of all the 21 paintings in this collection after the oil painting restoration treatments.

When Deakin painted these paintings, these historic structures were being re-appreciated, re-valued and the “Mission Style” was very popular. Not only did Deakin love the culture around the missions but he wanted to see them restored and revitalized, but this was not the case with everyone.

Given their romantic and artistic presence there were some artists like William Keith, known as “The Artist of California” and Gutzon Borglum who both declared they “would like to see the missions left in their neglected condition as a reminder of the pastoral time, never to return, and because of the romantic and mystical feeling they evoked.”

Deakin’s exhibition in 1900’s of these 21 paintings was perfectly in line with the “Spanish Revival” movement and the popularity of the Mission Style. Both of these socially accepted artistic design styles were a-variation-on-a-theme of the Arts and Crafts Movement, so popular nationally. The response to Deakin’s paintings was enthusiastic; Sunset Magazine called them “the greatest work of a California artist.”

I should mention also that there is a great book put out by the Santa Barbara Mission Archive Library on these 21 oil paintings that FACL worked on, plus the corresponding watercolors that belong to the Santa Barbara Historical Society (now the SB Historical Museum). In the description area below this video there is a link to learn more about this book.

Thanks are expressed to Oriana Montemurro and Virginia Panizzon, painting conservators at FACL, for their skill and professionalism that were put into the work on these paintings. It was truly a labor of love.

It’s been exciting, a great pleasure and honor for us to provide painting conservation services for the Santa Barbara Mission Archive and Library (SBMAL) on these wonderful paintings by Edwin Deakin. For us preserving and restoring these wonderful paintings for our generations in the future feels like there is a social conscience part of our work.

Open House to Review Painting Restoration of Missions of California by Edwin Deakin

SBMAL Reception for Edwin Deakin Mission Painting’s Art Conservation

Make a contribution to the Santa Barbara Mission Archive and Library to support art conservation efforts! Click here:



Thanks to for the royalty free music.

FACL,Inc., Fine Art Conservation Laboratories, Art conservation, Art restoration, Painting conservation, Oil painting restoration, Edwin Deakin, Spanish Missions, Spanish Revival, Mission Style, Arts and Crafts Movement, Dr. Monica Orozco, Oriana Montemurro, Virginia Panizzon, Scott M. Haskins, Painting conservator, Santa Barbara Mission Archive and Library, SBMAL, Santa Barbara Historical Society, Santa Barbara Historical Museum,

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The Art Restoration Of Texas’s Most Famous Lost Public Art By The Most Famous Texan Artist You Never Heard Of Thu, 01 Sep 2016 20:15:17 +0000 Continue reading ]]> By Jasmine Brand, Guest Blogger, HistorianJasmin Brand

James Buchanan Winn, Jr. (1905-1979), or better known as Buck Winn, was a Texas muralist, sculptor, architect, and teacher and has been said to have shaped American twentieth century art, especially in the South West. He achieved recognition in his lifetime as an artist and was commissioned to create all different kinds of art works including murals and sculptures, mostly for his home state of Texas. Despite this acknowledgement many of his original works have been lost or destroyed while many others remain in storage and away from the public eye.

Photo of Buck Winn

One very public and visible mural project is in the Hall of State located at Fair Park, Dallas Texas. These monumental 1936 murals were done in collaboration with other artists like Eugene Savage, Reveau Bassett, Will Smith and L. Nicholas Lyon. Though New Yorker Eugene Savage was commissioned to create the grand murals in the Hall of State, as related in the 2010 Hays County Historical Commission documentary, Larger than Life: The Story of Buck Winn, Savage hired Winn as his chief assistant in the creation of two murals chronicling state history. Winn also designed the hall’s large gold-leaf Texas star, surrounded by symbols of the six nations whose flags have flown over the state. To stand in front of these murals and get a good look is an awe inspiring visit. But there has only been a half hearted effort over the decades to protect these foundational works of WPA period art. They are presently afflicted by substantial surface grime, drips from water ceiling leaks, flaking and blanched paint… and previous poor quality art restoration efforts… all of which can be stabilized and brought back to their former glory. Fortunately there’s hope that the effort by the City of Dallas to privatize the administration of the fair grounds will include the restoration of the murals. In fact, FACL was hired as an art conservation consultant by the City of Dallas to review, assess, and estimate what will be needed for the long term good health of the murals. As of the date of this article, 2016, encouraging plans are going forward and the art conservation of the artwork at Fair Park is part of those plans.

Mural in Hall of State in Fair Park, Dallas, Texas

Another major mural restoration effort is presently in process on sections of Buck Winn’s renowned mural, The History of Ranching, a 280 foot long mural, commissioned in 1950 in San Antonio, Texas at the Pearl Brewery. At the time, it was believed to have been the longest mural in the world, keeping alive the spirit of ‘everything’s bigger in Texas’ (it actually wasn’t bigger than the Cyclorama of Gettysburg and other cycloramas like it… there were 6 or 7 painted). The brewery gave away to demolition in the interest of development and the murals were unceremoniously ripped off the walls in sections, rolled up like a rugs and stuffed into a poor quality storage situation. See the video below about their history and mural conservation efforts.

Now, decades later, the mural’s importance is being rediscovered and recovered. The Texas State University chose Fine Art Conservation Laboratories after an exhaustive nationwide search for the expertise to deal with the serious preservation problems and in the hopes of ending up with a quality work of art to re-exhibit in the new Alkek Library on campus. The university owns 3 of the 11 sections that make up the 280 mural. As of the date of this article, the art conservation treatments on these 3 sections of mural are just completed. Plans to re-reveal the mural are in effect, but sadly the different parts of it have been separated… and are not likely to be reunited… so the full effect is lost. There is, however, very quiet discussions taking place regarding the other 8 sections of mural.

Buck Winn focused more on architecture later in his life, designing his own home with his studio at the centre to be a hub of activity and creativity. His daughter still lives in the family home today. However it is his paintings that can be purchased through means of auction today, and remain very popular among Texan natives and American early twentieth century art enthusiasts. Buck Winn was also a teacher later in his life, teaching architecture at prominent Texan university, A&M, also Princeton University, Berkley and Rice. All of these achievements and he seems to be slowly disappearing into Texan history. Google and library searches return very little about him and the film in his honor Larger Than Life: the Buck Winn Story created by the Texas Historical Commission has gained little recognition. This is odd considering how highly regarded he is in everything written about him, how incredibly talented he was, and the fact that he is one of few artists recognized for this in his lifetime.

Buck Winn completed more than fifty projects in his life mostly between 1940 and his death in 1979, all on relatively large scales apart from his award winning postage stamp design for a three cent stamp in 1946. Some of his larger works are still available to view by the public in government and public buildings, however as new development has taken place an equal number have been sadly lost forever due to bulldozing and no care taken to recover the works before hand. There are funds and awareness groups urging for protection of these art pieces such as the Texas State Historical Association, stating that they are important works to preserve for the sake of art history and Texan history. Some of the murals no longer even exist in photograph form which is a real shame for future generations as well as all that appreciate his art work today. It is unclear why more care was not taken during reconstruction.

This story demonstrates the necessity for the preservation of architectural art (like murals) and also that loss of something precious can still happen in an “enlightened society” as ours if no one takes action to “make it happen.”. Losses and gaps such as the one in Buck Winn’s repertoire demonstrate a modern example of the problems we experience in looking at history. It is a difficult task to interpret the past as is, and the further you get from it and the more gaps that present the more difficult it gets. Especially in an age of technology and knowledge, as we are now, there is no real excuse for the loss or forgetfulness of anything like this.

Luckily, there are several societies and organizations fighting to save and promote Buck Winn’s legacy. These include the Texas Historical Commission and the Texas State Historical Association, which is one of the only bodies to have a decent biography about the man in question. Hopefully he will continue to be recognized for the artist and innovator that he was, that no further works of his will be forgotten or destroyed and thanks to experts like Fine Art Conservation Laboratories for their expert consultation service, nationwide on such projects and for their heroic efforts to do the actual mural protection, preservation and art restoration.

Detail from History of Ranching by Buck Winn

Detail from History of Ranching by Buck Winn

More links: FACL Educational video

FACL’s mural capability statement:

FACL’s mural consultation statement:

FACL’s mural conservation project videos on YouTube at

For FACL’s overview of mural conservation capabilities (videos):

Contact Info

Scott M. Haskins

805 570 4140 mobile, 805 564 3438 office


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Does This Painting Need To Be Cleaned? Mon, 23 May 2016 22:33:55 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Isn’t this girl pretty? She was painted about 1860. Note the cleaning test of varnish removal on her neck (and on the pearls). You can see that she has more problems than just yellowed varnish (in fact she has several patches from past restorations) but we’ll only discuss the cleaning question of oil paintings in this article.

Clean an oil painting

Does this old oil painting need to be cleaned?

A question that comes up often with curators at museums, dealers and auction houses is, “Does this painting I’m looking at, need cleaning?” Well, that’s not a “yes” or “no” question.

Certainly, a yellowed varnish changes the look of the original colors: A badly yellowed varnish usually turns purples to brown, it kills pinks, of course turns blues to green and orange to red… in other words, there is a complete shift in the true colors of the artwork. Add to that the grime, smoke etc that in the air and if an artwork hasn’t been cleaned in 100 years… well, you can imagine how changed the colors of the paint on the walls in your house would look if they weren’t cleaned in 100 years.

In addition to the changing of the original colors, depending on the clarity of the varnish, with the accumulation of grime etc… the saturation or brilliance of the colors is sacrificed and the depth of field, or 3-D effect, is flattened considerably.

So even with all these changes, does the artwork need to be cleaned? Well, maybe, maybe not.

Some artwork “looks better” to the world of collectors if it has the “glow of the ages” or “Titian’s dirt.” Primitively painted Early Americana and Spanish Colonial paintings are usually accepted as better if they are not cleaned completely. In fact, some of them are “antiqued” on purpose so they don’t look so garish or cartoonish… these types of considerations, however, are made mostly for artwork that has decorator value (or lower financial value) though, not for original valuable works of art.

There are also differing schools of thought. Some like old paintings to show their age supposing there to be a romantic story to be told. But I suspect that some dealers like to sell dirty paintings because its easier and cheaper to hide restorations.

The National Gallery in London likes their artwork to look as close as possible to the intent of the artist… therefore, cleaned.

Cleaning, mostly is a matter of taste. If you like the “glow of the ages” on your romantic paintings then leave them uncleaned. A yellowed varnish is not a preservation issue. Its an aesthetic issue to be decided by the “curator of the collection” (that might be you?).

Sometimes, however, restoration of missing paint on an oil painting might be more accurately inpainted if the painting is clean and the painting conservator can match original colors.

One more consideration for cleaning; Usually, clean paintings are easier to see and enjoy their details than dirty artwork. Only with a bright dedicated light will a dirty painting look good… but then again, a clean painting looks more fabulous with good light on it too.

Clean an old oil painting

If you decide to have your painting cleaned, the next issue to address is to make sure the process is done safely. It is not an exaggeration to say that more works of art have been damaged and destroyed by inept cleaning that my all the floods, volcanoes and earthquakes in history since the beginning of time.

For a quick time lapse video of a time lapse cleaning of an early California Impressionist painting by Edgar Payne, click on this link: Give the video a thumbs up and leave a 5 star comment?!?!

For a quick time lapse video of cleaning family portraits, click on this link: Leave a comment in the area under the video.


Scott M. Haskins

805 564 3438

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Virginia Haskins Panizzon Painting Conservator Fri, 22 Apr 2016 17:37:46 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Those that connect with Fine Art Conservation Laboratories already know Virginia, probably. She’s good at everything, including connecting with clients. A business properly run is a “team sport” and here’s a fun illustration of why:

You may find interesting Virginia’s background… here’s her resume.

Virginia Panizzon

P.O. Box 23557   Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Lab: 805-564-3438 



FACL Inc.    1994 – 1996, 2002 – present

§ Painting Conservator at Fine Art Conservation Laboratories in Santa Barbara, California. Facility specializes in the conservation of easel paintings (panel, fabric), murals (affresco, tempera, oil), works of art on paper and period frames. FACL, Inc. performs services for clients throughout the United States. The moveable artwork is treated in the 5000 sq. ft. Santa Barbara laboratory. On-location projects (murals, surveys) are performed each year.

§ Services offered include: All painting conservation treatments, an extensive amount of consultation work including collection surveys, authentication studies, expert witness services.

Etoile Srl. and Laura Franchi Interni Studio, Italy 1995-2001

§ Design work and decorative finishes, restoration of old wall paintings and decorative finishes, project planning, project preparations

§ 7 yrs working under the direction of professional interior designer and architect Laura Franchi. Both on site and studio work for her companies Etoile srl. followed by, Laura Franchi Interni Studio, Bedizzole, BS, Italy



       15+ year full time apprenticeship at Fine Art Conservation Laboratories in painting conservation, working in-laboratory on easel paintings and on-site mural projects.   Daily treatments and tasks were performed under professional art conservator supervision, intensive instruction, and hands-on experience. In all treatments and aspects of painting conservation. See a testimonial video from an FACL client:

Post – graduate training in Italy: Restoration and execution of decorative arts: Various wall painting techniques, working on site throughout Italy. Developing an acute sense for color and design. Diverse knowledge and ability for paintings any surface.

Continuing Education

– Attended “Advanced Career Inpainting Workshop” at the Campbell Center in Mt Carroll, IL – American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works

– Attended two specialized training workshops for Art Conservation at the Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, CA. Workshop subjects were:

– Tear repair for paintings:

– Advanced aqueous cleaning techniques (for paintings)

– Attended specialized alternative lining technique workshop in Skaneateles, NY: Organized by the American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works

Special On Site Projects with FACL, Inc.

  • On-site restoration and conservation of 7,800 sq. ft. of murals: Fair Park, Dallas, TX:
  • On-site removal, restoration, conservation, and installation of murals: City Of Burbank, CA Police Dept. and Fire Dept.
  • On-site restoration of murals: City of Oxnard, CA
  • Removal of Piazzoni and Dumond murals for Asian Art Museum from the Old Main Library. San Francisco, CA. Re-adhesion to panels for installation in De Young Museum.
  • Restoration and Conservation of the painted cupola, ceiling, and walls in the formal dining wing of the Krocker Estate, on Pescadero Point. Pebble Beach, CA
  • Corporation of the President cycle of 25 murals for North Visitors Center, SLC, UT
  • Produce Market, Los Angeles – 2 monumental murals by Tom Suriya:
  • Murals in Los Angeles by Kent Twitchell, worked on Bob Hope Patriotic Hall, Biola Jesus and 7th St Alterpiece:

Special Projects in Italy

*Hotel Pantheon, Rome, Italy – Mural restoration and decoration in the historic center, Rome, next to the Pantheon.

* Decorative fresco-like band on canvas adhered to wall against ceiling in lobby. Private residence,    murals and decorative finishes in 17 century historic villa, Vicenza, Italy

*Residential village (123 units), Porto Rotondo, Sardegna, Italy

* Private 17th century murals in historic residence, Barcuzzi (Garda Lake), BS, Italy

* Faux finish throughout, decorative motifs in kitchen, hallways, sauna room, indoor pool room – Iseo Lago Hotel and Restaurant

*Faux finish to selected walls in entrance and lobby – Albergo Alleluja, Punta Ala, Tuscany, Italy

*Worked along side various freelance artists assisting in large scale new murals in private homes, restaurants, discotechs, and breweries, throughout Northern Italy.


Meet Virginia and Oriana Montemurro!

Come by our lab in Santa Barbara, CA for a VIP tour!

805 564 3438

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After Mural Restoration in California The Horse Breakers by Fletcher Martin is again in Lamesa, TX! Thu, 07 Apr 2016 00:24:53 +0000 Continue reading ]]> By Wilson Jackson, Guest Blogger

A valuable Depression Era oil-on-canvas-glued-to-a-wall mural called “The Horse Breakers” by renown artist Fletcher Martin, painted way back in 1939, is back in it’s original community of Lamesa, TX after it was removed from a wall in a building slated for demolition and sent for restoration to a professional art conservation lab in Santa Barbara, California. Most people in Lamesa didn’t even know about the notable painting, although its been present on the same wall where it was originally placed since 1939. I guess you had to be a real “ol’ timer” to remember it.

But The Horse Breakers broke into the news when it was reported in several media outlets to have been taken away for mural restoration last September 2015. People were unaware that such a mural existed! This is mainly because the building where this mural was located has been vacant for more than the past two decades and it had not been in public view for the past 30 years. Back then, the building was a federal post office building, which was owned by the Lamesa Independent School District. But as the building was not utilized, this mural was hidden from public view. It was probably a good thing too, given the value.

Recently, there was a study to rehab the old federal building and the price tag was way more than the building is worth or could be justified. Therefore as the idea of demolition began to be discussed, a local resident named Randy Leonard took an interest in the mural located in the building in question, and along with other local businessmen, got in touch with the Weaver Foundation for granting funds to save the mural and undertake the mural conservation process.

Click here to see a short video of the painting restoration and more about the WPA artist, Fletcher Martin

Historic Mural Saved From Demolition

After the art restoration was completed, the WPA (Works Progress Administration) art was put up on the north wall of the Forest Community Park Center’s main meeting area. The Horse Breakers will officially be unveiled in a formal ceremony which is planned for next month during the Original Chicken Fried Steak Festival to be conducted in Lamesa, TX.

The Horse Breakers was painted by Fletcher Martin, an artist during the Great Depression Era that painted murals in locations stretching from Southern California to New York City. He painted some very iconic images that reflect the Depression Era and the times leading up to WWII. It was originally financed as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) art contract, placed in the new US Post Office built in Lamesa back in 1939.

The Horse Breakers

Along with the restored mural, more details about Fletcher Martin and the creation of the mural along with recognition of Weaver Foundation for the financial help towards the painting’s restoration will be placed near the wall.

The Conservator of Fine Art and the owner of Fine Art Conservation Laboratories based in Santa Barbara, California, Scott M. Haskins, personally went to Lamesa several times to help plan the project, remove the mural and, this last time, to install the mural on the wall in the community center after it was shipped back from California.

Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Randy Leonard the mural is now restored and a piece of Lamesa’s history and a valuable work of art has now been saved from being forgotten and damaged and will be appreciated for generations to come.

“Like” this page now and leave a comment, please! It helps this article and website show up in the search engines for other people to find answers to their questions.

Installing an historic mural

Seen in the photo are Mr. Scott M. Haskins, Mr. Richard Leonard and Mr. Randy Leonard discussing about the installation of the mural at the Forest Community Park Center in Lamesa, TX. Mr. Haskins has been working with small communities through out his 40 year career as an art conservator and mural restorer to help save and preserve murals. He has worked on similar projects in 8 different old WPA post offices in Pennsylvania, Atlanta Georgia, Alamagordo New Mexico, several in California and Utah, Eugene Oregon, Cedar Rapids Iowa, and, of note, on the monumental murals in Fair Park, Dallas Texas.


If you would like to know more about what you can do to protect and preserve your original family history items, collectibles and memorabilia click on this link for a free copy of Scott M. Haskins book Save Your Stuff – Collection Care Tips, 210 pages with 35 embedded how-to videos.

And CLICK HERE for FACL’s YouTube channel – Subscribe!

See quick video on Discovering Hidden Signatures on Paintings!

Contact Info Scott M. Haskins 805 570 4140 mobile or 805 564 3438 office

More about FACL’s background in mural restoration:

Capability statement:

Mural consultation statement:

Mural conservation videos:

For general mural conservation capabilities videos:



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Art Restoration of WPA Mural of Old West on Historic Register Thu, 18 Feb 2016 04:06:15 +0000 Continue reading ]]> See short video at end of article…

IMG_2310 lower res

Its like an old movie, walking along the WPA mural 4′ high and 200′ feet long that shows the settling of the Old West in the middle of nowhere in Butch Cassidy’s and the Sundance Kid’s country in South Central Utah surrounded by dinosaur bones and table top landscape.

Renown artist, Lynn Faucett, a native of Price, Utah was just the right person in 1938 to pull together the history of his country. He composed this historical review of the area for the mural based on photos, entries in archives and his own personal experiences. And, during the Depression, the new Works Projects Administration funded municipal building was the perfect place for his talents and vision for the mural.

Faucett’s depiction of the pioneer settlers, the beginnings of society in the newly constructed town and the development of the area and its industries are very competently done. There are dozens of wonderful smaller pictures within the composition of the mural. Today, we look back at the Old West’s history thinking that it was romantic and full of folklore, novels, movies etc. But back then, Faucett had lived this life, been in these buildings and knew these people. This mural is an authentic historical record of actual people (whose names are written below their portraits), buildings, customs and the process of taming the Wild West.

WPA Mural Settling the West

I’ve known Lynn Faucett’s painting style over the last 35 years of my painting conservation career having worked on the restoration of his paintings previously and looked at many others… and to tell you the truth, I wasn’t previously impressed with his painting style compared to the other Utah Impressionists that came before him.

But the original execution of this mural could have been the masterpiece of his early career. The faces were very well done and reflected feeling and expressions that were quite realistic… but then something happened…

About 20 years after the mural was painted, Faucett was employeed to “touch up” the murals and, as is almost always the case, the artist cannot respect the originality of the earlier work, doesn’t see the qualities of earlier work and has to change or update it. Such is the case on this mural when in the early 1960’s Faucett repainted much of the composition including most of the faces. The result was a change in style and, in my opinion, a reduction in painterly quality.

The result of Faucett’s repainting in oil, today, is a blotchy discoloration of the retouchings as they have aged at a different rate than the original mural. This is especially noticeable in the sky. Touch up of the seams of the canvas glued to the wall are discolored as are many other details.

It is presumed also that he varnished the murals, and likely didn’t clean them first. So, a gray layer is trapped. Then add to that the following 40+ years of grime deposited on the surface and that brings us to today’s appearance: considerably muted, flattened depth of field and contrast in the composition and an overall grayish appearance.

FACL, Inc is honored to have been called and entrusted with the health and art conservation of this historical mural, so important to the City of Price and to the area (see short video at end of article). This mural was considered so well done and so historical that it was a main reason why the entire WPA funded building was added to the US Register of Historic Properties, a considerable honor.

Without risk, we removed the last 40+ years of grime which brightened the painting considerably. However, we were hesitant to remove the 1960’s varnish as, according to preliminary tests, it would be hard to remove without damage to the original paint and would result in disturbing the retouchings that Faucett put on the mural in the 60’s thereby opening the proverbial “can of worms” during the cleaning and causing a real mess, even seriously damaging the mural.

In the past years, there has also occurred water damage infiltrations that have stained the front of the painting in several areas. So, these areas were cleaned. Then whatever was left of the stains and all of the blotchyness of Faucett’s retouchings were glazed and toned to blend in better and not be noticeable. We never do retouching in oils for the very reason now noticeable from Faucett’s 1960’s work. All of our materials are conservation grade, chemically stable, reversible materials that will be easily removable without damage to the original painting far into the future.

Our varnishes are also conservation grade and have gone through extensive testing to determine their reversibility and removability, color fastness and compatibility with the work of art. They will not yellow and will always be easy to remove.

In the end, we have stabilized the deterioration of the painting, returned it to it’s best appearance and protected it for many generations into the future… which should help make some more history. I love my job. It feels like my work is socially conscious!

Please leave a comment and give this article a THUMBS UP! Thanks!

If you would like to know more about our background in mural restoration:

See our mural conservation videos on YouTube at

For general mural conservation capabilities videos:

For our written mural capability statement:

For our written mural consultation statement:

Scott M. Haskins   805 570 4140

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Art Conservation Forensic Analysis Of Wall Decorations In Burned Out Historic Building Mon, 25 Jan 2016 04:24:38 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Art Conservation Forensic Analysis Of Wall Decorations In Burned Out Historic Provo Tabernacle Assists In The Recreation of Historic Details In New LDS Provo City Center Temple (excellent new video at end of article)

Provo Tabernacle Burns in 2010

Provo Tabernacle 2010

The burning of the much used and much loved LDS Provo Tabernacle (conference and performance center) in December of 2010 was a shock for the community and all those that knew the Provo, Utah area.

The following April, I was asked to do art conservation forensic analysis of the wall decorations in what was left of the burned out Provo Tabernacle building by the LDS Church History Dept. to find out details and make proposals. It had, since the fire, been gutted and cleaned out leaving the much publicized image of the shell of the building.

As a side note, also a victim of the fire was a notable original painting of the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood by Minerva Teichert. This painting, like all artwork, was self insured by the Church. So, while the $1.5 million valuation of the painting did not result in an insurance settlement, it was interestingly a wake up call to headquarters that there is a significant financially valuable heritage to be aware of, protected and preserved. This event put into motion mandates for better care and inventory of the History Department’s artifacts and has since evolved into a much greater sense of care of art and artifacts worldwide. In this sense, the destructive fire in the Provo Tabernacle was a valuable and beneficial landmark event benefiting the historic preservation policies of the Church as a whole.

Art conservation forensic investigation

I went exploring with scalpels etc through the burnt layers to identify what was original to the building. There were, if I remember correctly, 7 layers of paint and wall paper etc that had been applied over the ages. Then, I utilized various solvents to establish solubility parameters within projected uses of protective facing layers (and their removal) in the event of salvage and plaster removal. Tests were also done for potential cleaning procedures for the fire and smoke damage. Physically, knocking on the plaster layers helped me to see what voids were extant and gave me a general idea of the cohesion between plaster layers (to see if they had separated during the fire, water, etc). In areas of no decoration I did separation samples to see what the potential was for massiccio (en masse) detachment of wall plaster sections with design on them (perhaps for eventual historical displays). The onsite tests and discoveries were also photographed (the photos in the video below were provided my FACL) and videoed for future media needs.

historical decorations discovered in fire debris

Figuring out the conditions of the paintings and walls, then doing cleaning tests of what was left of the decorative painted layers and examination of the plaster layers under the decorations of the burnt out meeting center allowed for planning by the History Department that would be passed on to other concerned departments. While proposals to recoup or salvage original sections of decoration were not followed, our work was much appreciated and helped with the historic recreation of the details in the new building.

As you may have seen in the news, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church) owns the building. Since there was little justification to rebuild the historic conference center, there was enthusiasm to convert the remains of the historic building into a functioning “destination temple” where weddings and other ceremonies would lend its character to many “Kodak moments.” Since a great amount of the identity of the LDS Church lies in the Pioneer Heritage, this new building was taken on as a Pioneer work of art and to become an architectural gem that would reflect that heritage. A wonderful video on the historical features and symbolism of the new building has just been posted… it is worthy of your time to watch it:

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 4.04.49 PM PLEASE, leave a great comment at the bottom of the blog page… and pass the link around to others. I love this video presentation!

Scott M. Haskins, Head of Conservation, Fine Art Conservation Laboratories,

805 564 3438

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Painting Restoration and Conservation – Chapman College in Orange County- Hilbert Museum of California Art Tue, 22 Dec 2015 06:11:42 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Professional painting restoration and conservation is a valuable service that is often searched for by asking for referrals from esteemed art dealers, museums and auction houses. But sometimes, the referral is no better than simply asking your hairdresser, depending if the person is referring you to a “friend” or a real professional who, not only, knows his/her stuff but also runs a quality professional business.

After several trial and error relationships, we were recently gratified to hear from a major collector in Orange County who was not satisfied with past restoration referral and services. Lucky for him, Mark Hilbert received glowing referrals from two quality businesses in Southern California; Redfern Gallery in Laguna Beach ( and from Scott Levitt at Bonhams Auction House in West Hollywood ( to call us at Fine Art Conservation Laboratories who regularly provide service throughout the southland. See short video:

Click on photo to see video

Click on photo to see video

You will be interested to know that Mark Hilbert is the main force behind the new major museum being established with Chapman College in Chapman, CA that is about to open in Feb. 2016. The Hilbert Museum of California Art will have its opening on Feb. 27th, 2016 and you may contact Mr. Hilbert for arrangements to attend ( or for a copy of the book. The vast collection focuses on California art in the 1930 and 1940s and is made up of mostly watercolors and paintings. The new book, just published is a gem full of wonderful photos.

Collection Overview - Windows in Time

Collection Overview – Windows in Time

Fine Art Conservation Laboratories is honored to be part of the team to assist with this collection. Some of the educational discussions we have had with collection management have been lighting issues, the use of a UV blacklight during examinations and the characteristics of different kids of varnishes and finishes on paintings. These are common discussions we have with art collectors, dealers and other institutional collections we serve in the area: We are the art conservators for the Festival of the Arts in Laguna, we do work for the Mission San Juan Capistrano, we receive referrals from the Bowers Museum and have done a lot of work in the past for the Irvine Museum.

Click here for our review of Art Restoration Consultation Services provided over the years:

Call Scott M. Haskins, Art Conservator, to discuss your questions and a personal visit. 805 564 3438

p.s.  If you would like to know more about what you can do to protect and preserve your original family history items, collectibles and memorabilia click on this link for a free copy of Scott M. Haskins book Save Your Stuff – Collection Care Tips, 210 pages with 35 embedded how-to videos.

p.s.s. CLICK HERE  for our YouTube channel – Subscribe!  See quick video on Discovering Hidden Signatures on Paintings!





#ArtRestoration, #ArtConservation, #PaintingConservation, #PaintingRestoration, #FACL, #FineArtConservationLaboratories, #HilbertMuseumofCaliforniaArt, #CaliforniaArt, #MarkHilbert, #ChapmanCollege

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