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Long Lost Edgar Payne Sierra Lake Scene Found- 2B Shown at LA Art Show


George Stern as been on the hunt! Look what he found just prior to the LA Art Show… its never been seen, worked on (cleaned or restored) or been on the market. Here’s what it looked like when it was found:


Sierra Lake Scene by Edgar Payne, Before Conservation

Sierra Lake Scene by Edgar Payne, Before Conservation



I think George’s finding of this treasure was an inside job; his son and art dealer Steve Stern was the person who sniffed out this previously unknown gorgeous painting from about 1920. What a great partnership! I’ve got a good thing going with my oldest daughter, Virginia. She is my right hand woman in the conservation lab.

When the painting came into the lab it was, as you can see, very dirty, never touched. The cleaning or removal of the tops layers of discolored varnish and grime were fairly easy. In fact, on the mountain ridge on the right you can see a cleaning spot where someone tried testing the solvents on the paint. Interestingly, even though that spot looked amazingly different than the rest of the dirty painting, the revealed “cleaned” spot is not really clean. Another, different solvent took the cleaning even further removing a very hard varnish (probably mixed with linseed oil) and really let it “sing soprano”, as Bill Karges says.

The painting was also lined to remove cracking patterns which brought it back to its original look. The original stretcher bars were re-used and we only applied a few tiny specks of inpainting. Wow, did it glow after we got the final varnish on it!!! You can see it in George Stern‘s booth at the LA Art Show this year (this week!)




Sierra Lake Scene by Edgar Payne, After Conservation

Sierra Lake Scene by Edgar Payne, After Conservation



A funny detail about this painting; Edgar misspelled his name! Because the signature is mixed into the paint (applied when the paint was still wet) there are no doubts that Payne did this painting. But he spelled his name “EDGR.” We didn’t even notice it until after all the dark “crud” was cleaned off. Maybe the weather was changing and he was in a hurry to pack up? I’ve misspelled my name before too… usually in an email when I’m in a hurry.

If we look back into our archives at Fine Art Conservation Laboratories, we find that we have worked on over 250 paintings by Edgar Payne through the years. Together with the unrestrained enthusiastic testimonials we recieve about the quality of our work, I’d say that qualifies us as THE EXPERTS! Click here for testimonials.

See you at the LA Art Show!

Art conservation questions? Call Scott Haskins 805 570 4140 mobile

Art Appraisal questions? Call Richard at 805 895 5121

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About Scott M. Haskins

Scott Haskins has been in professional art conservation since 1975, specializing in the conservation/restoration of easel paintings, murals and art on paper. FACL, Inc. is known nationally for doing A+ work no matter the size or difficulty of the project. We are happy to do a quick cleaning on a family heirloom. Our client list and resume is also full of very satisfied clients of large, difficult/complicated projects at remote locations. Excellent services are also available as an Expert Witness/Legal Testimony in art related matters. Consultation on art related projects occur regularly including extensive insurance evaluations for insured or insurer. Services are offered worldwide. Scott M. Haskins is also author of the "Save Your Stuff" series, educational information, materials and supplies to help people protect and save their treasured family heirlooms and collectibles at home and office. He can be reached at 805 564 3438. Video and written testimonials at http://www.fineartconservationlab.com/testimonials/
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11 Responses to Long Lost Edgar Payne Sierra Lake Scene Found- 2B Shown at LA Art Show

  1. Eddie Pardoseli says:

    I love Edgar Payne’s work and find it amazing that “new” unseen paintings still surface.

  2. Scott M. Haskins says:

    Sandy, yes, we have worked on preserving many many paintings by Edgar Payne. Please see several video testimonials on YouTube. Just put into the YouTube search engine “bestartdoc” (without the quotes).

  3. Sandy Madson says:

    I really enjoyed the Payne exhibition I saw in Sacramento. I’m supposing that you worked on some of these paintings? Its sounds like, from the comments, you are a respected expert in art conservation?

  4. Scott M. Haskins says:

    Angie, yes it is exciting to see a previously unknown painting resurface by a master artist. No, this is not our first Edgar Payne we have worked on! We did a search in our database and since 1994, we have worked on about 260 of his paintings! You could say we are the Edgar Payne experts!

  5. Angie Thorson says:

    I love Edgar Payne’s work so thanks for the juicy insight to the finding of this unknown painting. Its seems like its kind of an adventure to be scouring around looking for artistic treasures. I know you are not a dealer but what a thrill to be able to bring these works of art back to their former glory and beauty! I’m assuming this is not the first Edgar Payne you have worked on!?

  6. Margiorie Sutton says:

    Great info. Do you ever evaluate paintings for people before, say, an auction sale?

  7. Steven Stern says:

    Scott and his team are without a doubt the best of the best. We have counted on their professionalism & detail to excellence for many years. No job is too large or too small for the great people at FACL.

    Steven Stern

  8. Mandy says:

    Thanks for this…:) These types of helps for collectors are hard to get from people experienced in buying and collecting. I’m considering purchase of an Edgar Payne similar to this.

  9. Karen Millen says:

    Really interesting, valuable information. It almost seems like magic that these dealers can continue to find high quality unknown works of art from such famous artists like Edgar Payne. Thanks for an insight into the process of bringing a work of art from its hiding place to market.

  10. Scott M. Haskins says:

    Thanks for the comment and the thumbs up on our work. Its interesting to see cleaning tests for other people. They show a difference that can be obtained through cleaning is the test really clean? In this case, the previous tests were not all the way clean and if the painting had ben cleaned to that level, there would have been left behind a haze of gray. It would have “looked” clean because of the before and after comparison but it wouldn’t of had the sparkle and glow that is so characteristic in Edgar Payne’s paintings. Yes, it was a bit of a rush to get done before the LA Art Show. In fact we had this one and the colorful Wendt with poppies and lupines to do also. We cleared the schedule of everything else and worked on only these two pictures, which fortunately we could do without making anybody else upset! Bernard Vandeuren did the frames and yes, they are gorgeous. I love his work.

  11. Carlos G. Herrea says:

    Hello there. I saw this painting before you worked on it and WOW! What a difference! When I saw it, someone had made a little cleaning test but, obviously it wasn’t you that did the test and the painting, luckily, didn’t go to that person because you really made this painting sing. How did you guys get this painting done so quickly in time for FADA? Cudos to George Stern for getting the great frame too.


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