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:
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!)
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