Restore Heirloom Paintings? Treasured but worth it? Orange County, CA

A quick client’s testimonial in Orange County, CA for the restoration of a family heirloom painting. But, was it worth it? What is junk and what is a treasure? Is it authentic? What is something worth? This is the mystery and business of collectibles, antiques, memorabilia and art industry and the appeal behind the Antiques Roadshow. As you might imagine, just anybody’s opinion about what you have will NOT be sufficient, appropriate nor probably accurate information. See this video of some examples or heirlooms saved for future generations, some nice stuff from Europe and a celebrity guest in the lab!!

This article and video are syndicated publications. See end of article for “What does syndication mean?”

Here is the personal story of a client of mine about being involved with Antiques Roadshow. “Participating in the whole process and affair is quite interesting. It is pretty well organized, in spite of all the people. It takes about 2 hours, start to finish, of standing in lines. It might be disappointing to you in that they may not have an appraiser who is specialized in your item after you’ve gone to all the trouble to show up. I took a painting in to be evaluated and the appraiser actually thought the portrait of the Russian Tsar was of English Prince Edward. Amazing. The appraiser did not really “get” the idea that the value of the painting lies in the history of this person, a painting actually “of the moment” of the Russian Revolution. She kept reiterating that the “condition” of the painting was not good (it had been bayoneted, shot, ripped from its frame, rolled up and smuggled to safety). So, actually the whole experience was pretty disappointing for me, also because the Antiques Roadshow is severely prejudiced and really emphasizes American pieces.”

The value of an antique or work of art, of a collectible or item of memorabilia can have an impact on people for lots of reasons, as you might guess: family history items document a family’s heritage and legacy and therefore contain strong emotional value that probably cannot be insured; Memorabilia items document our lives, loves and experiences like our favorite team or movies or movie stars or cars. The memorabilia sales industry is all about “investing” in those memories. And, of course, investing in vintage art and antiques has been a popular asset class for millennia. Many items, both collectible and memorabilia, may have important historical value and may be of interest to other people in a locale, region or nation. Collectibles can be an investment or something that “holds” our memory.

Caught in a mud flow. Worth restoring?

So, given that an item may have tremendous emotional power, significant historical importance or a solid financial value… what is something worth? Consider these questions about the items for which you are the “curator.”
1. Can your treasured item be scheduled on an insurance claim in case of damage or loss? Is it insurable? (a painting, yes… vintage family photos, no?)
2. If the building were going up in smoke, would you be heartbroken about loosing which of your items?
3. If your item is damaged, will it be worth restoring? Would you restore it even if the financial value was less than the appraised value because it has emotional or historical value?
4. Is your item valuable to others you know (are you a caretaker)?
5. Are you aware that the financial valuation (appraisal) will be different in the case of insurance coverage, probate, donation, auction sale or gallery sale?
6. Will you get a different evaluation from a garage sale appraiser than from a professional specialist who knows or can research the history, provenance and specialized regional sales for the item? The professionalism and expertise of the appraiser can make a HUGE difference in your expectations from sales, from settling IRS issues, settling estate issues and settling insurance claims.

So, if I ask you what are you doing to protect your investment in collectibles and treasured family history items, would you have a blank look on your face? The above questions bring up a number of risk management questions that should be extremely important to you!

Let’s talk specifically about paintings

For many centuries, maybe millennia, paintings have served as the best representation that demonstrates the quality, prestige, style, and class of their owners and patrons. Why else do you think notable hotelier, Steve Wynn, shares his magnificent collections with his guests? It doesn’t take many of these valuable paintings to be worth even more than a resort or casino! By proxy, these works of art allow the owner to share in the famous reputation of the artist and connect with the works’ cultural ties. Keeping track of all this history, value, importance, and prestige is called the “provenance.” If you collect valuable art, you know you must keep the documentation that establishes this history and background of the artwork safe (see hurricane story below). Even if your artwork isn’t an important work by Picasso, you still are interested in whose hands your artwork has passed throughout the ages. Its easy to see why so many people value these works of art and have an emotional and deeply rooted historical connection to them.

With no other class of collectible does it happen that the value of the artwork on the walls exceeds the value of the building. Some of my clients refer to paintings as “moveable real estate.”

A True Story Illustrates My Point. . .
I recently removed two murals (paintings from the 1930’s on canvas glued to walls) from a public building in Idaho that was about to undergo asbestos/ lead paint abatement and updating the building to code. The two 9’ paintings were valued at $1.4 million each! Combined, they were more than the building and took the general contractor’s breath away at the thought of damaging them during his work.

But, as I have mentioned, value is not always expressed in financial terms. I had in my lab a portrait of the “who-knows-how-many-greats-ago” grandmother pioneer of the owner. During the United States’ sesquicentennial celebrations, the original pioneer portrait was loaned out for a pioneer display. During the day, it fell off of its pioneer tripod and onto a pioneer bedpost. Disaster! Did anybody argue about the $3,000.00 price tag to make the damage go away? No, because even though the actual financial value ranged in the $350.00 range (and now that it was damaged, it was less), there was high historical value. And what are you going to do, leave great grandma with a hole in her head? For another interesting story (with videos) of the value of an heirloom, click here: “Heirlooms may be treasured but are they worth protecting?”

That reminds me of another similar sad story: A woman called me one day quite upset, but wouldn’t talk about the damage to her family portraits until I went to her office in the San Francisco Bay Area. She had broken up with her boyfriend, and in a fit of rage he had taken a knife and viciously attacked her three family portraits in her office, shredding them to pieces (could this happen from a disgruntled employee?!). By the way, we made them look perfect again—but what a disaster!

In other words, for many, having paintings is not just a way to decorate the office. Whatever type of artwork you have in your office, its important to assess your needs and understanding the disaster preparation tasks for these types of items: It should be a major part of your emergency preparedness plan if you have paintings.

Where do you keep the records of your collection?

A Florida client of one of my associates is a major corporate collector. They had an insurance policy, but when a hurricane ripped off the roof and planted a 150-foot yacht on the front lawn, many of his paintings were blown away, never to be seen again. Those that remained were soaked with sea water and in truly bad shape.

When he made his claim for his fine art losses, he was asked to prove the quality of the art and provide documentation to prove the condition of each work of art being claimed previous to the hurricane. These are two important points that can make a huge difference in the value. Unfortunately, his supporting documentation was also destroyed in the storm. A battle ensued with the insurance company that was never resolved satisfactorily for the corporation. This entanglement could have been avoided even though the damage by the hurricane could not have, perhaps.

Paintings, more than any other art form, convey to your clients, public, and competitors an image of status and quality of your business or company. Your art collection tells others you are educated and knowledgeable, and if you collect the right kind of art it will represent that you are at the “top of the food chain” in affluence and savoir faire. It’s been this way for thousands of years.

No matter the value of the artwork, be it Old Master or contemporary, an oil or on paper behind glass, you can see how these items make up the image and contribute forcefully to the company culture. Don’t take lightly the importance of protecting, preserving and the risk management of these collectibles and memorabilia.

Take an Inventory
There are lots of reasons to have art besides just owning a financial asset. Here is an assessment checklist to help jog your memory about what you have. Check off what you think you have, and keep in mind there may be some overlap.
* Oil paintings
* Acrylic paintings, Ancestors’ portraits, Inherited heirlooms, Family portraits
* Founders’ portraits
* Portraits of company officials, high mucky-mucks
* Purely decorative artwork (little or no financial value)
* Art collected for the love of art, indifferent of value or status
* Investment-quality paintings
* Artwork that represents accomplishments, projects
* Gifts from clients, dignitaries, sponsors
* Artwork that represents your company’s soul, like philanthropic work, causes you sponsor, important travel experiences
* Your children’s art or paintings done by other family members
* Souvenirs, items bought while traveling
*Other people’s property (artwork) in your care—your responsibility *Inherited assets from mergers or settlements

This quick video shows some family portraits we’ve had in the lab lately. Click on this link.

Also to be considered important to protect and preserve, following list of items you may need in case of an insurance claim (and therefore in an effort to protect your financial holdings). You will want to consider the following documentation for each and every work of art:
• A high-quality photograph to document the quality
• Receipts for acquisition and expenses
• A report narrating the condition, previous restorations, etc.
• An appraisal. For an accurate financial assessment of some of these items, it makes sense to contact a reputable art appraiser. For more information contact, Mr. Richard Holgate, International Society of Appraisers, (805) 895-5121, jrholgate@
• A copy of the type of insurance coverage
• Specific historical papers, documentation of exhibitions, copies of publications about the artwork
• Remember to keep a copy of all this documentation in a second location, preferably outside your area.

Scott M. Haskins is a professional painting conservator. Questions? Call 805 564 3438 or

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What does it mean that this article is “ syndicated”?

When something is published, usually by a news source, and is made available through different venues for redistribution then it is said to be syndicated. Publications that are syndicated are usually considered of value as being from an expert, educational, new worthy or valuable for wide popular interest. See syndication page at the renowned publicity site:

This website’s syndication included:

1) Included in the ExpertClick Press Room as a ‘press release.’ (different than a ‘news release’)

2) Included in the ‘Speaker Bureau Platform Page.’

3) Shown on the front page of ExpertClick, in rotation with other most recent posts.

4) Shown in the ‘News Release Results page.’

5) Included on optimized for searches on all my topics of expertise.

6) Shown via RSS linked from the Press Room. (A specific way news is actively distributed within the industry)

7) Shown in the full RSS feed from ExpertCick. (Another, different specific way news is actively distributed within the industry)

8) Syndicated to As of 2006, the company had the world’s largest electronic database for legal and public-records related information, distributor of academic content and expert opinion.


Posted in In Lab, Painting on canvas, Professional activities | Tagged | Comments Off on Restore Heirloom Paintings? Treasured but worth it? Orange County, CA

Frankie Boyer Talk Radio Interview Boston Mass

How can something be priceless when its not worth anything? What is worth saving and protecting of our “stuff?”

I’ve been media trained by one of the recognized best marketing geniuses, Rick Frishman in NY, been interviewed numerous times, been featured on TV on several programs, I’ve produced about 400 public outreach related videos and published  four books in the Save Your Stuff series. Add to this the writing etc that goes with actively blogging, professionally, since 2005 on several blogs. Our recent Covid pandemic has been a stimulus for embracing new methods of reaching out to the public and in the last 8 months, I’ve organized, produced and starred in about a dozen 1 hr. webinars for historic organizations, museums, Rotary Clubs and the such. I enjoy all of this activity very much and we also get rave reviews. Here’s my media page: Scott M. Haskins, Author, Art Conservator There’s lots of interesting things to see…

Still, even at this point in my career. when the communications for an outreach opportunity come together and line up for connecting with interesting people, its fun. Here’s what happened at the end of last week with some fast breaking news: a brilliant young female writer in Pakistan has been a guest blogger about my books. Her name is Khola Malik, and we posted Fri. morning an article about how “Losing Treasured Family Heirlooms can be Heartbreaking” in connection with my book How To Save Your Stuff From A Disaster on…/. We also announced it on several Facebook pages.

Exciting news, the article was picked up immediately by a news distribution agency: This website is a source for news reporters to find content for their programs. They can use the article as it is or they may want an interview. (See third Expert on illustration below)

Then, within an hour, more good news!! A mainstream talk radio show in Boston, Mass, The Frankie Boyer Talk Radio Show on BIZTALKRADIO asked to interview me and talk about Khola’s article which we did yesterday at 10 am. With Frankie, I think we have a really fun interview that was well received.

Do you know anyone that does or needs interviews and guests I can make the time fly by on radio, webinars, TV and I can provide content for print and web that people consider fun, engaging and educational. And I get only rave reviews for my books and other content.

Here’s my media page: Scott M. Haskins, Author, Art Conservator 805 570 4140

Frankie Boyer’s Mission: My passion for The Frankie Boyer Show is to spread sound advice, useful insights and empower people to take personal responsibility for their own mental, physical and spiritual health so they can live healthy, vibrant lives.

Shows: In addition to her award-winning health show, Frankie has added a new lifestyle magazine radio program. Imagine a diverse and broad range of topics from money, movies & celebrity news, timely male and female issues to longevity and health, spirituality, and the environment… all with the inquisitive, thought-provoking and authentic Frankie Boyer vibrancy.

#FrankieBoyerTalkRadio #ExpertClick #ExpertTalker #Talkers #ScottMHaskins

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Behold The ‘Potato Head’ Of Palencia Joins ‘Behold The Monkey!’ In The Hall Of Fame Of Spanish Notable Art Restorations


Behold The ‘Potato Head’ Of Palencia Joins ‘Behold The Monkey!’ In The Hall Of Fame Of Spanish Notable Art Restorations

Another Botched Art Restoration A melted face with two round cavities standing in for eyes, a misshapen lump approximating a nose, and an agape maw of a mouth: The latest art “restoration” gone completely wrong in Spain. I think Anastasia enjoyed rubbing this in the face of Prado establishment and kicking up the dirt. I’d love to take her out to lunch for a chat. This is cultural anarchy with a full-on dose of the Chinese Plague.

As the blog post points out, repaintings… even poor quality repaintings are not totally uncommon. At one time, I remember in our art conservation lab, we had 4 or 5 in at one time. But understand clearly… any type of repainting, good quality or bad, is ethically abhorred by professional painting conservators, scholars, auction houses, art galleries, museum curators and directors and private collectors who prefer the “real thing.” Even this painting, which was ‘just’ the family heirloom of their grandmother were horrified when it came back from a 3 year restoration by a “qualified” immigrated Russian restorer who had worked at the Hermitage. She (the restorer) was naturally proud of her work and wanted full payment!

After restoration was, presumably, done because she (the restorer) couldn’t get the original painting clean enough to look good, so…

The Palencia “restoration” is the latest in an infamous line of nonprofessional art rehabs in Spain, including a 2012 repainting of a 19th-century fresco of Jesus, done by an 81-year-old church member, that gained the unfortunate international nickname of “Monkey Christ.”

More recent incidents in Spain include a day-glo repainting of a 15th century wooden sculpture of the Virgin Mary, St. Anne and the infant Jesus; the redoing of a 500-year-old St. George figure that turned him into a toy soldier; and multiple failed attempts to give the Virgin Mary a makeover in a copy of a painting by the Baroque artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.

The Palencia statue, which formerly was of a smiling lady placed within a country scene, adorns part of the facade of a bank in this city of some 78,000 in the country’s north. The Art Newspaper reports that the statue was originally unveiled in 1923.

In Spain, professional art restorers and conservationists are once again calling for stricter oversight. On social media———– (censured), the Madrid-based organization of professional restorers and conservators, ACRE, deplored the work in Palencia, writing that the rehab was not professional.

Scott M. Haskins, Art Conservator,,  805 570 4140

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Richmond Industrial City, 1941 WPA Mural Conservation

This important public art mural was painted in oil on canvas and adhered to a wall in 1941 as a WPA project by Victor Arnautoff, the artistic director of the extensive murals at Coit Tower in nearby San Francisco and a protégé of the superstar artist, Diego Rivera. The artwork was commissioned by the U.S. Treasury Section of Fine Arts for the downtown post office in Richmond, California at time when Richmond was a boom town for employment with military shipyards and equipment manufacturing at full production and the population exploded from 25,000 to 100,000 in 4 years.

The link to the 5 minute video of the mural conservation treatments is at the end of this article

Women were respected as they proved they could handle the production pressures
and by the end of the war made up 28% of the workforce.

This article was picked up for syndication. See details at end of this article to see what “syndication” means?

The City of Richmond, at this point in time, was having  particularly explosive growth period as a manufacturing center and as a shipyard for WWII. Ford had a factory in the area since 1931. Given the high level status of the artist and the quality of the artwork, it is remarkable that in the 1970s, when the old post office underwent innovations, that the public art, owned by the federal government as part of the Works Project Administration, was not considered important and was unceremoniously ripped off of the wall, rolled up in a crate (out of sight, out of mind) and “lost” to memory.

Flaking Paint From Rough Mural Removal

The “ripping it off the wall” is not an over dramatic telling of the story. Further insult occurred to the public art as the separating of the very hard toxic lead adhesive holding the canvas to the wall resulted in torn canvas, and massive flaking of the paint. Essentially, it may have appeared destroyed in the removal process. Museum Director Melinda McCrary indicated that the mural may have been slated for restoration but the treatments were not followed through on. You would think that Victor Arnautoff, the artistic director of the extensive murals at Coit Tower in nearby San Francisco and a protégé of Diego Rivera would get some respect. But even an important oil on canvas (on wall) mural commission by the U.S. Treasury Section of Fine Arts for downtown post office in Richmond, CA painted by Arnautoff in April 1941 was unceremoniously ripped off the wall.

Apparently it languished, undetected in the building’s basement for almost half a century. Then, in 2014, the staff at the Richmond Museum of History and Culture learned from longtime member Fran Cappelletti that a mural had once graced the post office lobby. Executive Director, Melinda McCrary took charge in the hunt for this important large painting that had been “lost.” Her search lead her to the janitor for the post office and they found a huge triangular crate in an unlit room, the label clearly identifying it as the missing mural. This was exciting!!

Though valued by the knowledgeable museum staff, getting the USPS authorities to take action was a different matter. Even flooding in the basement had to be dealt with! When the crate was finally opened, there was a collective sigh of relief when it was realized that even though there was a water stain on the outside of the crate, the mural roll appeared unaffected.

While recent controversy storms around a mural at a San Francisco medical center about whether to save valuable, historical murals from the same time period as this Arnautoff mural, there is no question at the Richmond Museum of History and Culture that the City’s heritage is documented and it is a legacy of valuable public art. The active historical museum hasn’t adopted the lazy tin-cup-in-hand begging techniques of fundraising but, thinking outside of the box, has implemented a vision of community participation that has been fun and educational. You, your family or your business are welcome to contribute to the saving of our community’s heritage and may participate by clicking on this link:

Scott M. Haskins and Virginia Panizzon inspect mural as it arrives at the art conservation lab. The link to the 5 minute video of the mural conservation treatments is at the end of this article

Scott M. Haskins, Art Conservator and Author, and his team at Fine Art Conservation Laboratories were chosen as the “A” team. All of the mural conservation treatments are done with the idea that the mural will last generations into the future. When a paint company tells you about their best quality of paint, they mean it will last 10 years. We think in terms of generations, a century. Everything we do has a long-term future in mind,” says Haskins.

Haskins and his team were trained in Italy and have decades of experience restoring treasured art work. He’s careful to point out that they are not artists and they don’t do anything creative. What they do is painstaking labor that requires some detective work to determine what materials were used in the original art. And it is all done with a long term goal in mind.

Juliann Stephenson and Virginia Panizzon work on the mural restoration treatments

“The art conservation process involves knowing what materials were used and how they react to the environment. When a paint company tells you this is their best quality of paint, they mean it will last 10 years. We think in terms of generations, a century. Everything we do has a long term process in mind,” says Haskins. He points out that the government’s goal in funding art like Arnautoff’s was to establish a legacy. “It was meant to be the artistic imprint on our community,” he says. “From a social conscience point of view, it is definitely worth saving.”

While art restoration might make one think the restorers are painting over something, Haskins says they don’t even have oil paint in their laboratory. Instead they work with special paint that is made for art conservation that can be removed easily without damaging the original. They use cotton swabs and work with one color, one spot at a time. They are touching it up using a very small brush with just a few hairs, one dot of color at time. Then they apply varnish first with a brush and then a spray gun.

Haskins says “the drama and the traumatic effect of taking it off the wall has taken its toll.” Especially because the glue used in those days is rock hard. And the mural needs to be cleaned. “We’re looking to have zero impact on causing stress. We have to stabilize the painting from past stress,” he says.

Richmond’s Arnautoff mural presented interesting challenges. Haskins says that around World War II, there were many new inventions and the war prompted new technology: paints and varnishes, glues, resins, and paint for battle ships. Since war
needs got priority, Haskins said, “If artists found a spare can of paint around, they used it. When we get into it, we don’t discount the fact that he could have done something different. We are hyper vigilant.”

Haskins shares Melinda McCrary’s commitment to preserving the mural, “The idea of preserving our heritage and understanding our legacy is very important to the community,” he says. “Richmond doesn’t have a famous cathedral but we do have things that prompt or “trigger” our memories. People tell stories that perpetuate the valor and importance of the times. And this mural is not just a decoration or like a picture in a book. It’s a memory-jogging view of the past.”

After Mural Conservation, “Richmond Industrial City” by Victor Arnautoff, 1941, WPA Project

On two Tuesdays, October 20th and Nov. 10th, Scott M. Haskins in collaboration with the Richmond Museum presented Zoom webinars to show, not only, the community the interesting aspects of this mural’s history and restoration but also give a super interesting educational presentation on what attendees can do on their own to “save their stuff,” or preserve collectibles, heirlooms and family heritage at home or the office. Mr. Haskins is a world renown author of several books on this subject and made the learning process a lot of fun.

Restoration of Richmond an Industrial City was completed in October 2020. Below is the 5 minute video of the art conservation processes. Please leave a 5 star comment at the bottom of this blog page.

Call Scott M. Haskins for more information… or for a tour of the art conservation laboratory in Santa Barbara, CA. 805 564 3438

Call Melinda McCrary as the Richmond Museum contact for more information:, 510 235 7387

You, your family or your business are welcome to contribute to the saving of our community’s heritage and may participate by clicking on this link:

Victor Arnautoff was a very successful artist at the time he painted this mural. He had recently been the artistic director of the extensive murals at Coit Tower in nearby San Francisco and a protégé of the superstar artist, Diego Rivera. This prestigious artwork was commissioned by the U.S. Treasury Section of Fine Arts for the heavily used, high profile downtown post office in Richmond, California. Here are some other works by Arnautoff that can be seen by contacting George Stern Fine Art 310 270 2600 in Los Angeles.

The Embarcadero c. 1940 Oil on canvas, 26 1/2 x 34 1/2

City Hall San Francisco
c. 1945
Oil on Canvas on Board
22″ x 28″

What does it mean that this article is “ syndicated”?

When something is published, usually by a news source, and is made available through different venues for redistributionthen it is said to be syndicated. Publications that are syndicated are usually considered of value as being from an expert, educational, new worthy or valuable for wide popular interest. See syndication page at the renowned publicity site:

This website’s syndication included:

1) Included in the ExpertClick Press Room as a ‘press release.’ (different than a ‘news release’)

2) Included in the ‘Speaker Bureau Platform Page.’

3) Shown on the front page of ExpertClick, in rotation with other most recent posts.

4) Shown in the ‘News Release Results page.’

5) Included on optimized for searches on all my topics of expertise.

6) Shown via RSS linked from the Press Room. (A specific way news is actively distributed within the industry)

7) Shown in the full RSS feed from ExpertCick. (Another, different specific way news is actively distributed within the industry)

8) Syndicated to As of 2006, the company had the world’s largest electronic database for legal and public-records related information, distributor of academic content and expert opinion.

Posted in Murals, Speaking, Workshops | Tagged | 2 Comments

Historical Society Webinars, Book Award, Mural Conservation… its been a busy week!!

I’m aghast!! The last blogpost was Aug 14th!! That went by quick… We’ve got a lot going on and every other day seems like Friday. There are lots of fun, interesting and new things goin’ on at Fine Art Conservation Laboratories so let me tell you quickly about the last 10 days.

The actual day for our award ceremony on Zoom was Sept 19th, but this last week, Diane Stevenett and I (Scott M. Haskins), co-authors of the new book, received the International Book Award for being the Best Pet Care Guide Book (available as soft cover and Kindle on Amazon)…/dp/B08GVJLPGL/ This last week our International Book Award hardware for the Best Pet Care Guide Book arrived from Toronto, Canada and that was fun!

We also received our 1st shipment of our newly published book, How To Save Your Pet From A Disaster (Available on Amazon) and that was exciting! In pat, thank to Covid for quarantining me so I could dedicate the time to get this book written, edited, published… all done in the last couple of months.

When 2 X NY Times Best Selling Author (of 2 Chicken Soup For The Soul Books and many many more) Raymond Aaron heard of our new book being written and after he saw the manuscript, he insisted that he write our Forword for us!! He was so excited for quality content and usefulness of the book that he recommended us for this award and, voila’, we received the award from Toronto Canada… before we even had the published book in hand (but its up on Amazon ready for orders). The award is given for “Best Guide Book for Protecting & Saving Loved HousePets and Treasured Collectibles.” Beside the discount price on Amazon, the book purchase includes a continuing education of preservation tips and reminders of things to do and to remind you of why you thought the book was a good idea (so you don’t leave the book forgotten on your shelf…)…/dp/B08GVJLPGL/

Some years ago after a major earthquake in the Los Angeles area, as a result of my reputation for decades of excellence in the field of professional art conservation, I was asked to provide practical instructions for collection care of art, antiques and collectibles by the marketing genius Dorothy Adams. When the Bank of America Corporation distributed over 1/2 million copies of that publication, I became an author and the Save Your Stuff series was born.

International book award for “Best Pet Care Guide Book” Don’t mix heirlooms with pets!

I am honored to author this 4th edition in the series with my co-author, associate and friend, Diane Stevenett. And we are thrilled that How To Save Your Pet From A Disaster has received this highly deserved recognition by the publishing industry for its value in the how-to fields of pet care, emergency preparedness and collection care at home.

We thank 10-10-10 Publishing in Toronto Canada for this honor and for the support of mega-celebrity-author and 2 X NY Times Best Selling Author Raymond Aaron’s inspirational foreword to the book and his organization’s support.…/dp/B08GVJLPGL/

An original historical component of the Spanish Vejar Ranch in Pomona CA

Also in the last 10 days, I helped to put on 2 webinars for historical society museums that were attended by over 100 people and helped to raise money… and there was LOTS of positive energy with them. The Historical Society of Pomona Valley held a well attended webinar this week to celebrate, preserve and restore a valuable original painting, this madonna (detail) which is part of California history and the 1837 Vejar Ranch. Cudoes to Mike Schowalter and team for a successful event… more to come so stay tuned! Very interesting if you like Spanish Colonial art and CA history!

By Victor Arnuatoff 1941

The Richmond Museum of History and Culture directed by the spirited and energetic Executive Director, Melinda McCrary, will be having a follow up webinar on Tues. Nov. 10th. More to come about this WPA mural and its super important artist who painted this mural in a Bay Area town where battleships were produced for WWII… a BIG deal!!

Virginia Haskins Panizzon and Scott M. Haskins ( Julie Stephenson who is assisting on the mural conservation project isn’t in the picture) working on Richmond: Industrial City by Victor Arnautoff 1941. There will be a webinar on Nov. 10th 7 pm sponsored by the Richmond Museum of History and Culture (Exec. Dir. Melinda McCrary) that promises to be entertaining, educational… even fun and an evening not to miss for collectors as Scott M. Haskins, author, will be giving tips to attendees for taking care of their stuff at home. Stay tuned for more info.

Also, in the past 10 days, I went to Salt Lake City, Utah, did pick up and deliveries and consulted with clients. In the process, I picked up a very cool painting with a really nice frame that was once owned by Napoleon which is going to be very interesting for art conservation treatments.

Oh yeah, and I voted!!! Keep up the positive energy!

Let’s chat about your collection or inherited art!

Scott M. Haskins

805 564 3439

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A Ripped Oil Painting, Salt Lake City; Pets and Art, Antiques and Collectibles Do Not Mix

It’s one thing to teach your kids not to play rough around your favorite painting hanging in your house, but it would probably be a lot harder to teach your pets the same thing. Even the most well-behaved dog doesn’t know the value of a painting, and accidents can happen.

Just look at this painting below. As a man and a woman were redoing the inside of their home, they took down their painting and set it on the ground for a second. In that second that the painting was lying on the ground, their dog walked by, and not knowing what it was, stepped on the painting, creating this huge tear!

This rip can be made to disappear.

The poor dog didn’t know any better, but this unfortunate accident could have been prevented. With any type of pet around the house (cats, dogs, birds) you always want to be extra cautious!

One of the big mistakes that this couple made was placing their painting on the ground. When setting aside a painting, you never want to just leave it lying on the ground- vulnerable to people’s feet, furniture sliding around, or dogs walking by. If you’re just setting your piece to the side for a short amount of time, make sure to prop it up against something sturdy. It’s a good idea to lean it on a piece of cardboard and to put another piece of cardboard against the back as well. This will help prevent any feet from kicking into and tearing the canvas. Even with these precautions however, you want to keep your painting in a low traffic area, just to be safe.

If your house was on fire and you had to grab and go, would you grab your house pet or your family heirloom? This new book recently received an International Book Award for the Best, Most Important Guide Book for Pet Care, How To Save Your Pet From A Disaster – the essential emergency preparedness guide for feathered friends and fur babies: Order from Amazon at 

Our main business is the preservation and restoration of artwork and at any given time, we can have several items in the lab that have been damaged by house pets. Many times the damage to treasured valuable collectibles occurs when the owner tries to transport heirlooms and pets at the same time. The results can be expensive to remedy, the last rip in a painting that we repaired was caused by an Australian Cattle dog which cost $3,500.00 to restore back to great condition.

If you think a minute about it, your family heirlooms and treasured family history items tell the story of your family and are of heartfelt importance for generations of people. They trigger memories and document your family’s legacy. Your house pets are also a heartfelt emotional part of your life. It could be tragic for either to be badly damaged, lost or destroyed. Yet, these two parts of your life are usually not insurable against fires, water damage etc! How can you replace the family bible… and you can’t replace, exactly, your sweet therapy cat that curls up in your lap. It’s worth the effort to think ahead, prepare such important parts of your family for an emergency and feel the emotional peace of having taken action.

Specialized, hard to find instructions and tips make this book an essential guide book, a must-have according to 2 x Best Selling NY Times Author Raymond Aaron, Author of 2 Chicken Soup for the Soul editions.

International book award for “Best Pet Care Guide Book” Don’t mix heirlooms with pets!

Accidental stepping or kicking into isn’t the only cause of rips and tears in paintings. Another thing to be cautious about is the way you hang your painting! If not hung properly and sturdily, your kid or your dog or even you could run into the wall and cause a disaster. If your wires aren’t properly placed, they can tear the painting as well. Here are some things to remember when hanging a painting from a wall:

Caution when hanging framed items. Here are some GREAT collector care tips:

Tips for hanging heavy framed items

-Quality and large eye hangers that hold the wire.

-Thick wire, preferable plastic coated

-Nail in wall hits a stud. If not, use a multi nail hanger made for drywall.

-Use the largest hanger possible

-Use Museum Wax in the lower two corners to anchor the painting against the wall and so it won’t “jump” off the hook when things start to shake.

Following these tips won’t guarantee that your painting won’t rip in any situation, but following them will greatly reduce the chances that a similar accident will happen. Accidents happen at any moment in the most random ways, that’s why they’re called accidents! While you can’t always prevent them from happening, being cautious will help the amount of damage and cost resulting from them.

To check out more ways you can save your stuff, click this link to Scott Haskins’ YouTube channel and press “Subscribe”!

How we repair a ripped fine art painting:

Birds can get rowdy too!

Contact Scott M. Haskins, Oriana Montemurro, Virginia Panizzon

Art Conservators

805 564 3438


#ProtectYourPet #SaveYourStuff #RepairARippedPainting #fineartconservationlaboratories #scottmhaskins #paintingrestoration #paintingconservation #artrestoration #OilPaintingConservation #ArtRestorationSaltLakeCity #PaintingRestorationLosAngeles #PaintingRestorationSantaBarbara #ArtRestorationLasVegas #artconservation

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Iconic Mural Painted Out Instead Of Removing Graffiti On 110 Freeway in South Bay, Los Angeles

By Scott M. Haskins

Veteran journalist Nick Green called me on the phone asking intelligent questions about the legalities of painting our murals and what rights artists have. We also discussed the options of future mural restoration, protection of public art, cleaning off graffiti and restoring these murals that should be valued public art that give character to a city that we could be proud of but instead we have graffiti and vandalism that give character to our environment.

Mr. Green is the beat reporter for the cities of Torrance, Carson and Lomita and also covers the South Bay for the Daily Breeze. He has worked for newspapers on the West Coast since graduating in 1987 from the University of Washington and lives in Old Torrance with his wife and two cats. He did a good job asking questions thoughtfully about a mural on the backside of a roofing company that faces the 110 Freeway and was painted over in Carson on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. (Photos by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

Long Beach artist Roy Herweck took about a year to create the massive 31 feet high and 161 foot long, very noticeable “South Bay Mural” that gabillions of passing motorists have seen since its creation more than two decades ago.

Vandalized over the years into a graffiti-ridden eyesore, the recent painting-out job was done at the request of the building’s owner, who initially commissioned the piece of public art-cum-advertisement in 1996.

“That’s the biggest mural I ever painted and I’ve painted 100 murals probably,” said Herweck, who is now in his mid-70s. “For me, it was an homage to the South Bay.” The equivalent of a three-story building and as long as half a football field — the massive mural depicted an aerial view of the South Bay at dusk, complete with a full-size image of a roofing truck and trailer, with a fireball-like setting sun behind it. But for such a huge mural, it was the small details that made it special. Passing motorists often pulled into the roofing company’s parking lot to inspect it more closely, according to a 1997 Daily Breeze article on its completion.

But now it has all but vanished — in what for Herweck was an unwelcome surprise.. The industrial neighborhood is hit often by taggers. At first, the graffiti vandals appeared to respect Herweck’s work and left it largely alone. But gradually, as the years passed, taggers disregarded the community’s love affair.

“It’s been shining its sun on the 110 Freeway for 23 years,” emailed Allen James, who works for the roofing company and whose office is under the letter “M” in the word “American” on the mural. “I just looked out the window to notice that the grey wall across the 110 was just tagged within the last hour,” he added in an email last month. “The graffiti is getting out of control here.”

Caltrans spokesperson Michael Comeaux confirmed via email that the agency painted over the mural with gray paint at the request of the building owner.

“A Caltrans crew was covering up graffiti in the area when the owner of the building, A-1 All American Roofing, came out and asked them if they could please cover up the graffiti – much of it profane graffiti, – which defaced the mural,” he wrote. “The crew complied with his request. The owner was present when the crew sprayed it.”

But Herweck, who said he ended up paying about one-third of the mural’s cost because it took so long to complete, called the action “illegal.”

He observed that Caltrans did the same thing to several pieces of freeway art commissioned to coincide with the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. It took a successful lawsuit — and a hefty settlement — by artist Kent Twitchell, who also has one of his famous larger-than-life portrait murals on an Old Torrance building, to get the transportation agency to recognize the value of freeway murals and conserve them.

“Just because an artist sells his artwork doesn’t mean he sold the rights to it,” said Scott Haskins, a professional art conservator, expert in mural restoration and owner of Fine Art Conservation Laboratories, who works on projects around the country, who was involved in  freeway mural conservation efforts at Caltrans’s request. Any legal action would likely be bolstered by the fact Herweck’s mural constitutes a “major” piece of public art, Haskins added. “The gray paint Caltrans uses can also be removed in some cases Haskins said, “although it also depends on how the mural was painted in the first place.”

But for Herweck to assert those legal rights, he would probably need to sue, which he said he doesn’t really have the time, effort or money to do. Now all he has left are memories of his dream-like mural and the reaction it evoked from those who viewed it. “I had people stopping by every day when I was painting that mural,” Herweck said. “It was embraced by the community.”

Contact Scott M. Haskins, Head of Conservation

805 564 3438

#SaveFreewayMurals #PublicArt #MuralGraffitiRemoval #ScottMHaskins #MuralRestoration

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Historic Mural Reinstallation at Texas State University

This video is about the installation process of the Buck Winn murals entitled “The History of Ranching in Texas” at the Alkek Library at Texas State University.

Fine Art Conservation Laboratories was contracted to resurrect the murals from the dead, preserve them for future generations, undertake quality restoration treatments on them to represent well their original fame and authorship by perhaps Texas’ most famous artist of the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s, Buck Winn and to represent the commitment to preserving the heritage and legacy of Texas by the Wittliff Collection, The Alkek Library and Texas State University.

Buck Winn painted these murals in 1950, and they were immediately famous. They survived a demolition, got lost… and then found in a horrible storage situation, were donated to the university and then underwent a 9 year process of preparation to finally come home to the really great venue to be part of the newly renovated Alkek Library. The installation is super interesting and this article shares this unique process with you.

Crews of workers with the contractor and volunteers from the library were required to handle the 3 – 30 ft sections of mural in a safe and efficient manner, lifting it and then positioning it on the massive suspension wall which hangs from the ceiling.

Once in place and positioned, the holes were drilled to bolt the backing of the mural to the wall. Instead of being glued to the wall, it was designed to be removable in the event of a disaster (in the interest of its preservation at all times in the future). A custom frame surround of the mural hides the bolts.

The wall is suspended 14 ft above the student computing area making the contrast between the computing technology era and the traditional, historical heritage of the area’s cowboy history an interesting time warp to think about.

Here is the interesting short video of the installation process which involved lots of people, contractors… and the oversight of the art conservator (me)!

Covered by the media and celebrated by the University, this has been a very exciting event and component of the famous Wittliff Collection and the Alkek Library. Special warmhearted, enthusiastic thanks to all the donors and support from the community and the University.

Other links of interest

A historical review of the project by Dr. David Coleman

Video and article about the restoration of the mural:

Background and historical info on mural:

Scott M. Haskins 805 564 3438

Mural capability statement of mural conservation:



#ScottMHaskins #artconservation #artrestoration #FineArtConservationLaboratories #historicpreservation #muralconservation #Muralrestoration #OrianaMontemurro #paintingconservation #paintingrestoration #publicart #restoredmural #ScottMHaskins #VirginiaPanizzon #AlkekLibrary #TexasStateUniversity #TheWittliffCollections #BuckWinn #MuralInstallation #HistoricMuralRestoration #DavidColeman #DianeStevenett #JulieStephenson #EmilineTwitchell #DanielleMasters

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Caw Caw Blues

This story about country music legend Guy Clark seemed too weird to pass up telling you about…This macabre bronze statue of a crow (raven?) doesn’t have anything to do with the really interesting (and magnificent, actually) saving efforts of the important historical cowboy mural by Texas State University’s The Wittliff Collection and its installation into the Alkek Library (which we are presently undertaking). But for all you country music fans this is a “must read.”

This slightly bigger than life-size bronze crow statue contains the ashes of songwriter Guy Clark who died in 2016. Actually, it doesn’t “contain” the famous country music man’s ashes, it is made WITH his ashes, some lodged in the bird’s chest and much of it mixed into the bronze, some of which can be seen on the base.

Crow feet on ashes of country music legend Guy Clark

Literally this dark-omen-bird carrying the dead, greets you as you come into The Wittliff Collection Gallery in the Alkek Library on the campus. It was created by artist and song writer Terry Allen who was a friend and mentee of Guy Clark.

The title Caw Caw Blues, comes from the last song the ailing Clark worked on before giving it to Nashville artist Rodney Crowell to complete and record. The lyrics were inspired by death march Dust Bowl museum era artifacts of the barbwire nests of West Texas crows.

“On the base of the sculpture are the lyrics of another Guy Clark song, The Cape: He’s one of those who knows that life is just a leap of faith. Spread your arms and hold your breath. Always trust your cape.”

Clark won the Grammy Award for Best Folk Album in 2014 and produced 26 albums. He was a huge influence in the country music world whose music was/is performed and recorded by numerous big names.

Oriana Montemurro inpainting murals by historic Texas artist, Buck Winn.

The History of Ranching was a famous cowboy mural that was widely known about in its day but was unceremoniously ripped out of a building before demolition took place, went into poor storage conditions and was forgotten! Fortunately for Texas art history and culture, some people remembered and were willing to take action.  So, here we are 70 years since it was created… more about the mural’s resurrection and the heroic saving efforts, click here. Another blog post is coming soon about its installation into the Texas State University Campus’ Alkek Library as part of the Wittliff Collection. We are in the middle of installing it right now!!!

#ScottMHaskins  #MuralConservation #MuralRestoration #BuckWinn #AlkekLibrary #TexasStateUniversity @TexasStateUniversity #WittliffCollection #HistoryOfRanching #GuyClark #TerryAllen #RodneyCrowell #CawCawBlues

Buck Winn History of Ranching mural Installation

Scott M. Haskins, Art Conservator 805 564 3438

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Save Your Pet From A Disaster Book Author Interview with Scott M. Haskins by Host Elizabeth Stewart

The publishing of our book, How To Save Your Pet From A Disaster is recommended by a NY Times Top 10 Selling Author Raymond Aaron (Who has written 2 Chicken Soup for the Soul books) who submitted our manuscript for recognition and we will receive an international book-award in Toronto Canada this September 2020!

Feathered friends and fur babies guide book for essential emergency preparedness   tips. House pets are treasured members of our families and if you take care of them, they may become your therapy pet in time of need. They deserve to be protected against distressing emergencies, so be a good parent and be prepared for them too. It’s easy if you do it little at a time. You already have some of the stuff you need.

Here’s the “rub”… they can’t take care of themselves and they depend on you. Besides, in a stressful situation, what will your pet give back to you in exchange for your care and protection? Think of the comfort, love and companionship! In an emergency situation a loved pet turns into your personal therapy animal!

Preparing to keep our families safe like extra insurance, seat belts and buy a safer car seems to come natural… but, have you thought about emergency preparedness for your furry children? BTW, hustling the kids, cats, dogs and family heirlooms all into the same car at the last second will be a disaster.

Something you haven’t thought about is that in the stress and, perhaps chaos, of an emergency, your pets could be injured by other things that you are trying to save! Things that are treasured by you and your family… your house pets don’t mix well in close proximity with art, antiques and collectibles… we’ll talk about all these things that may not be covered by insurance.

Here is the evolution of the book cover which has been kind of humorous: The first graphic with the poodle is cute but it was too brown and while endearing, the age of the girl isn’t my demographic. Maybe you know that we posted the cover over 3 different social media sites and the winning opinion/vote was much more in favor of the cover with the lady (my wife Diana) with the 3 yorkies. She is more in line with the book’s targeted demographic. But the second graphic has a blue sign and a garden hose coming out of her head so we got those edited out in the 3rd graphic and changed the color of the book from brown to purple. Then my humerous-media-savy friend Ann Shaftel​ suggested, tongue in cheek, that since the title says its about saving pets from a disaster, I should have the apocalyptic-zombie-end-of-the-world scenario taking place behind in the background! So, I mocked it up but… I don’t think so! So, with a few low key tweaks, our book cover will look mostly like the 3rd with the purple color. Thanks everyone for voting and commenting. There were lots and lots of people who took notice and helped in the decision. You love your pets!! They are part of your family, mostly helpless, so this Protect Your Pet Guide Book gives you ideas to help you plan ahead. REMEMBER your fur babies and feathered friends (pets) need your help in an emergency situation!

Feel better NOW when you discover things you can do easily and have peace of mind knowing your treasured pet is more ready for a major storm or unexpected emergency. Be “pet prepared”. Remember, your pet may turn into your “therapy animal” in a disaster! 

And, also, be aware that pets and collectibles don’t mix!!  Wow… that comment seems random? But do you want your dog’s paw to go through the family portrait or the cat to pee on the ancestor’s photos?!?! Ok, then, that’s the rub of the video and the book.

Can we use this book to help you fundraise? Reach out to your membership? Ask Scott to speak. 805 564 3438

#ProtectYourPet #SaveYourPet #ScottMHaskins #EmergencyPreparedness #DisasterPlanning #Pets #Dogs #Cats #HousePets #ElizabethStewart #RadioInterview #AuthorInterview #HowToSaveYourPetFromADisaster #PetCare #SaveYourStuff #RaymondAaron #HumanResource

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