Usually visitors slid into and out of the Cache County Courthouse unaware that there was an incredibly valuable painting by renown early Utah artist Minerva Teichert hanging on the back wall. Or maybe they took note or were even alarmed by the blank wall in the rear of the County Council chambers after it was hauled away one morning and brought to Prince Gallery in North Logan where world-renowned art conservator Scott Haskins inspected the masterpiece, then picked it up and transported it carefully and personally to his art conservation laboratory in Californiato repair a 2-inch tear and much more.
The painting is owned by Cache County School District. But it is undoubtedly safer on display in the County Council chambers especially when you consider that according to a 2014 appraisal, the 1935 masterpiece of Indians and Trappers, an oil painting by Minerva Teichert is valued at $300,000. The appraiser noted in the report, “very valuable and has sustained fairly significant damage, which should be professionally repaired as soon as possible.To allow it to remain suggests indifference to the painting, much the same as allowing graffiti to remain on a public wall invites more disrespect.”
“A good point…” Art Conservator Scott Haskins said “I’ve seen the issue that appraiser brought up happen time and time again.”
Cache County School District Superintendent Steve Norton said that for the past few years there have been attempts to get help for the painting. “There’s been an issue with that piece for a while, and our superintendent has been searching for an art conservation expert to repair that,” said Tim Smith, the school district’s chief information officer. It was decided to solicit the help of Fine Art Conservation Laboratories and painting conservation expert Scott M. Haskins after his information was found on the internet.
Haskins has been providing professional art restoration services in the Salt Lake City area (and throughout Utah along the corridor) since 1978 and continues to work with the History Dept of the LDS Church, The State of Utah, Daughters of Utah Pioneers and many art galleries and collectors. His firm, FACL, routinely preserves and restores paintings by Minerva Teichert.
Contact with Haskins was made through Frank Prince from Price Gallery in Logan. Prince has guided the school district with several other matters regarding the art collection they own.
Prince said the damage to the painting is not limited to the tear on the knee of a standing Indian. He said the 83-year-old painting has a fine network of cracks, has a little bit of flaking and sagging so the painting restorers will replace the stretcher bar to make it taut once again and add stability long into the future. The experts will also give the painting a deep clean, put a new lining, or reinforcement backing, on the back and apply new varnish that won’t yellow and will help the valuable painting look its best… and, of course, they will fix that tear. “We’ll make it so you won’t even know it was there before… even if you are looking for it!,” said Prince.
He said the $300,000 appraisal value from 2014 is quite low and he said he thinks it’s worth “way more” than that. Once Haskins is done, Prince said it will be worth even more.
There’s been a discussion with all concerned about the safety and protection of the painting by Teichert for the future. One thing is for sure: Cache County School District does not have any plans to sell the Teichert painting. “This valuable masterpiece of Trappers and Native Americans by renown artist Minerva Teichert going to stay in their permanent collection,” Prince said.
On budget and on time, the famous painting was returned to the County by Fine Art Conservation Laboratories, mounted back into its newly carved and gilt frame by the Wallis Brothers Framing Co. It looks visibly brighter and makes its caretakers feel good that this valuable, historically noteworthy, gorgeous Impressionist painting will be stable and look it best for generations to come.
435 757 9296mobile
435 750 6089work
Scott M. Haskins, Oriana Montemurro, Virginia Panizzon
Fine Art Conservators
805 564 3438
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