We had the wonderful opportunity to clean two of Armin Hansen’s masterpieces from the collection of the Monterey Museum of Art because we had the lovely recommendation to the museum by Terry and Paula Trotter of Trotter Galleries in Carmel. Thank you everyone for your confidence and trust!
“Nino” and “Men of the Sea” are two very large canvases (for Armin Hansen) that needed a serious face lift due to discolored varnishes. A very common question that I am asked over the phone is, “How much does it cost to clean a painting?” This video is an interesting example of why that question is impossible to answer without actually seeing and testing the cleaning process on the actual painting. You would think that an educated guess would be possible for me to make after 35 years in this professional art conservation field! But, I’m still testing paintings before I estimate… and here’s why…
One of the paintings in this video has a linseed oil varnish on it which is about 3 times harder than a “regular” varnish to dissolve safely.
The other painting in this video had a Urathane varnish (or boat lacquer) that you CAN’T dissolve! It has to be swollen and then removed.
So, as you can guess, neither was a “run of the mill” cleaning. Each was 3-5 times more expensive than a “regular” cleaning.
When cleaning a painting, our guiding light is the safe removal of grime, varnishes etc. In other words, what solvent combined with special technique removes the top stuff without dissolving the original paint. We NEVER dissolve original paint. But you can believe some of the horror stories we see come into the lab!
Anyway, enjoy the video!
Art conservation and restoration questions? Call Scott at 805 564 3438 or email at email@example.com
Art appraisal questions? Call Richard at 806 895 5121
Please give our video a THUMBS UP and leave a comment!
See the Monterey Museum of Art Website at: http://www.montereyart.org
See Trotter Galleries Website at: http://www.trottergalleries.com
I enjoyed reading this post after I saw the Armin Hansen exhibit. Your experience and expertise is staggering.
Very interesting article on cleaning. I love Armin Hansen’s work. What an honor to work on these major paintings
Thanks Eddie. We had another nice Hansen come in the lab today which has been previously worked on. We’ll undo all the previous sins and make it look its best. Scott
I love the Monterey Museum of Art. I was surprised and excited to find this “inside info” on two of their major paintings.
This was really interesting about the cleaning of the Armin Hansens. Thanks for sharing the cleaning process.
Hey very cool web site!! I loved your article about the paintings you worked on from the Monterey Museum of Art .. I will bookmark your site and take the feeds. Thanks. Good stuff.
Fantastic web site. A lot of useful information here. Very interesting about the two paintings by the same artist having to be cleaned differently. That’s quite an involved process. I have an artist friend who wants to do some restoration work on the side but now, after watching your video, I shudder to think about how he could/will screw things up. Thanks. I’ll stay connected.
Excellent post. I keep checking constantly this blog and I am inspired! Extremely helpful info for me as an art collector… especially this post about cleaning paintings.