Clean a Painting by William Wendt – Most Colorful Wendt You’ve Ever Seen? George Stern Finds Treasure

William Wendt California Poppies

After cleaning

William Wendt’s (1865-1946) paintings were often produced with a predominately green appearance or predominately brown. So, is this the most colorful painting you’ve ever seen by Wendt? Leave a comment below.

George Stern found this painting at the last minute before the beginning of the LA Art Show that will be held at the LA Convention Center next week. It was a hurry up art conservation project that we loved to do. In fact, we delivered the gorgeous “thang” today! Its been with us all this last week and the transformation was wonderful.

The really discolored layer of old varnish and grime came off quite easily and, of course made quite a difference in the appearance. But, after we got it cleaned, it still seemed gray to us. We hummed and hawed, tested with other solvents than what we had been using but not much changed. There was an overall softness or lack of “pop.” Then after we seemed to have tried everything, Painting Conservator Virginia Panizzon found a customized mixture that broke the code. We were all amazed, actually, at the difference in color with the removal of the gray layer (a VERY hard linseed oil coating).

Hard gray layer coating removal from Wendt

Usually, the removal of a gray linseed oil layer doesn’t make THAT much difference in the dark colors. While it is usually a wonderful difference in the lighter colors and allows the light in the colors to really shine, look at the color difference in the dark greens in this photo! With the removal of the gray layer, we got the original spectacular sparkle we were hoping to find. After it was safely cleaned (no original paint loss or removal) the correct kind of varnish makes sure that the colors show off their best.

In addition to the cleaning, the painting was cracked over the entire surface and a lining brought all the paint layers back into plane and they disappeared in the process. The painting looks perfect.

Don’t you love this painting? I do.

If you are an art collector, there is a lesson to learn here: George consults with me often about what is possible in the art conservation – art restoration process… and George has boucoup experience! So, I invite you to open up a relationship and dialog with me and let FACL, Inc. be your ace in the hole.

A suggestion: Check out the instructional CD for inspecting paintings with a UV light at

Scott M. Haskins 805 564 3438

Art appraisals: Richard at 805 895 5121

See George Stern talk about why he works with FACL in the very short video: [sdgnATVV1Lc]

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“Fine Art Conservation” and “Tips for Art Collectors”.

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
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