Tips For Fine Art Collectors
Fine Art Collectors have questions about authentication, fake signatures, cleaning, fixing rips, inpainting/retouching, linings (relining), the difference between good and bad restorations/conservation, detecting previous conservation/restoration and how value is affected by conservation/restoration. In addition, interesting art related stories will keep you entertained along with photos, close ups of details and videos. These are all interesting issues that are talked about on this blogsite. So, sign up NOW to get automatic updates!
There’s an article in artdaily.org about a Van Gogh being authenticated by infrared and x-ray technology by Conservation Scientist, John Twilley. Let me give you the straight scoop on this claim. Its fantasy with shoddy research on the subject.
I’ve known John Twilley since 1980ish I think. He’s very professional and a good scientist and he knows that these are not the tools that will authenticate a Van Gogh. Infrared reflectography and x radiography can disprove an authentication as it did in this video of a Sir Joshua Reynolds:
These techniques can also add clued and pieces of the puzzle of identification but they do not exclusively do the job. In addition to these methods, analysis can include ultraviolet visible fluorescence, pigment analysis with a polarizing microscope and with cross sections. Pigment sample identification can also be done with much more sophisticated analysis to be more precise if needed. And once you have all the analysis, then you have to have the historical study match up with other Van Goghs.
In the end, even if all the stars align and the data all looks good for the painting being a Van Gogh, there are some monumental egos of people who have written books and curated exhibitions that will not stick their necks out to help you make $50-$75 million. And what do they get out of it? Well, that may be outside the subject of this article and highly inflammatory.
So, to summarize, there is a myriad of details that need to run parallel with other known paintings by the artist AND the scholars will need to bless the painting.
In the end, writing that Scientist John Twilley is authenticating a Van Gogh with infrared and x rays is super simplistic and uniformed.
To see a quick summary of how you can use UV light to discover previous repairs and get full disclosure from dealers and auction houses when buying paintings CLICK ON THIS LINK.
Art conservation questions and to discuss your authentication project call Scott M. Haskins 805 564 3438
Art appraisal questions? Call Ricard Holgate at 805 895 5121
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Last night’s episode of Treasure Detectives on CNBC dealt with the authentication of a Stradivarius violin and one of the “tests” or methods of examination utilized the UV black light.
Expert violinist who owns a Stradivarius compares the “known” agains the wanna be during the authentication process.
The UV light is a standard method of inspection (or should be!) among vintage painting collectors and art conservators to help see invisible clues in the surface varnish layers. Some of the things that can be seen/learned with a UV light are:
Some qualities of varnish can be generally identified
Sometimes the general age of the varnish can be determined
Previous “Monkeying around” with the varnish can been seen, usually
Clues can tell a story about how successful or difficult a previous cleaning may have been.
Some characteristics of pigments/paints can help identify them
Recent previous retouchings are usually visible unless they have been fraudulently covered/masked… which can also be identified.
Previous damage (rips, scratches, damaged qualities of paint layers) can help to determine condition that is covered up or hidden.
It’s interesting though that most painting collectors mistakenly consider the UV black light a simple method to understand/read. Perhaps that’s because a black light is commonly available to anyone for a reasonable price while other methods of analysis are more expensive and require more expert knowledge. In other words, there is MUCH more to see than just some purple spots that may be retouching. Still, there was an important point shown on the TV show that perhaps wasn’t noticed:
Curtis, the show’s host, went to an expert who understood the characteristics of old violin varnishes. Because of the expert’s decades of experience, he was able to “translate” for Curtis may of the subtleties in the varnish that gave some important clues… that probably would have been missed by Curtis even though he has utilized a black light many times. Reading these important clues can, however, be learned if taught by someone who really knows and understands.
By the way, the quality of the UV light that they used in the TV show was strictly “bush league” and WAY under-powered for the task at hand. The stronger the UV source the better it will reveal its secrets. My light that I use in our lab is 10x’s brighter/stronger than the one they used in the episode.
Treasure Detectives is a very interesting show that deals with the authenticity of collectibles. In this blog post, I’d like for you to consider the psychology of the collectors, something I hope you can relate to and definitely a good object lesson to be learned from. I deal with the mind set of collector’s all the time and, coincidentally, it turned out that on the same morning as the TV show, I had three paintings to evaluate for authenticity come into the lab… all of them before noon!
Tues. March 12th’s episode dealt with the value of a potentially super valuable baseball card and a Tiffany lamp.
Comparing blown up images of the baseball card in question and a fake card they made on the show.
The two owners of the two items were in a completely different place mentally.
The baseball card owner had inherited the card in 1980 and had, over the years revered it and made up an incredible story and value in his mind. For him, the item was absolutely authentic and its potential value of $3 million was tied tightly to his ego.
The Tiffany lamp was bought a few years ago by a very experienced antiques collector who states that he has the largest and most valuable collection of Tiffany in the State of Kentucky.
In the case of the baseball card, it turned out that several details sunk that boat and it was declared 100% fake. The owner was devastated, of course, but made worst by the fact that the owner took the news personally. The provenance, the reverence for such a rare item, the story the owner had in his mind all contributed to him not looking at this “investment” in an objective way. By the way, it is my estimate that the authentication processes they went through on the show could have cost the owner about $15,000.00 if he were paying for the work and research.
The Tiffany lamp turned out to be a 1950s reproduction and was fraudulently sold as a Tiffany. In other words, the purpose was to deceive. The owner was disappointed naturally but it was interesting to me that an experienced antiques buyer and one so familiar with Tiffany would buy something BEFORE having it checked out. I’m sure he shrugged off the $5,000.00 purchase price of his bogus lamp and moved on to other hunting grounds. It is my estimate that the authentication process they went through on the show could have cost the owner about $10,000.00 of he were paying for the work and research.
Here are a couple of suggestions that could be learned from this episode of Treasure Detectives:
Have your item checked out by experts prior to a purchase or caveat emptor and suffer the consequences.
Provenance or the documented history of the item is as easy to make up as a good story. Fake provenances are more common than good ones. If the documentation is made up of physical papers etc and they all look good… be more wary the more expensive the item is being sold for.
Consider that all experience dealers and collectors buy fake stuff. Don’t take it personally… but don’t get taken too often! #1 on this list will keep this from happening to you. One of my dealer-clients hasn’t bought a painting in 30 years with a fake signature because I look at each and every purchase for him PRIOR to buying if he has the minimal question.
Ebay will increase your chances of buying something fake
One of the basic methods for inspecting artwork prior to purchase is with a strong UV blacklight. See this article and video for more info: http://tipsforfineartcollectors.org/blacklight-package/ This is not a slam-dunk-easy-to-read method for seeing previous restorations and other important details. It requires lots of practice on lots of different kinds of items. But its fun!
In the program’s own words: “Treasure Detectives takes you deep inside the world of arts, antiques and collectibles. Curtis Dowling and his team of investigators verify the authenticity of collectibles, artwork and antiquities using innovative technology and street smarts. Is it a fake or is it worth a fortune?”
Did I tell you that Treasure Detectives will be doing an episode with me (Scott M. Haskins, art conservator) evaluating art with Curtis (the host) with infrared? They saw my short video and “had to have me.” Here’s my short vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxOqa-Aa9Nk
As an “art doctor” it’s a logical step to go to or consult with an art conservator when an art collector is worried about the condition of an item. In this article, we will be talking about paintings but all items with paint layers would have the same issues. It is a smart move when a wanna be buyer consults about condition BEFORE buying. In the investment world this is called “due diligence.” You would be surprised how many experienced dealers rely on their own eye and then make all sorts of mistakes, some of them quite costly. Speaking with Scott M. Haskins, art conservator at Fine Art Conservation Laboratories, he said that this type of major financial “boo boo” happens to experienced dealers at least every few years, if they don’t rely on a talented art conservator to lean on. One of the boo boos includes buying paintings with hidden condition problems.
One of the most frequent hidden condition problems on vintage oil paintings is flaking paint which may be dimensionally too small to see. The lifting paint usually appears where cracking patterns converge. They are easy to miss. Yet, they are often the “tip of the ice berg” considering the overall weakness of the paint layers. It is a condition that will continue to worsen if nor arrested.
One of the frequent times the flaking is knocked off is when someone tried to clean the painting. Its natural (even well-intentioned) for inexperienced collectors or owners of art to want to clean their paintings. But this is a bad idea for many reasons. The wiping off the surface will, of course knock off hard to see flaking paint. Cleaning should never be done, whether the cloth used is wet or dry. A damp cloth can cause canvas to expand and contract which leads to further flaking and result in damage rather quickly. Paint lifting off of the shrunk canvas is really a horrible thing to see.
Even a dry cloth, however, can do damage. Areas of flaking that only a trained conservator would spot may only need the encouragement of a sweep of a rag to begin dropping away. If you see flaking, it is best to not touch the affected area at all. When a problem arises, there can be enormous temptation to use our hands to try and solve it – even seasoned art experts can be guilty of touching paintings they know will flake. Each bit of flaking increases the time – and money – that will have to be spent on the project. The more the flaking paint can be left in place and can be preserved, the better the chances are that the painting’s value will not be impacted once stabilized and conserved.
Unfortunately, people may think they are being extra helpful by using cleaning solutions or solvents to clean a grubby painting. Never do this! Leave it to the professionals! Conservators train long and hard to learn the extremely complicated processes of cleaning works with solvents and even with training each piece requires the meticulous use of very small quantities of these powerful chemicals. Someone without training could damage a painting and impact its value very quickly indeed.
Finally, if you have noticed cracking or flaking, check to see if the piece is being exposed to a heat source like heating vents… even fireplaces, which aren’t used very much for heating these days but are still favorite places to hang paintings, are a less-obvious threat and so could feasibly cause more damage over time.
If you have found us because a similar situation has already happened, don’t despair. The good news is that the below references are trained professionals and the purpose of their job is, more often than not, erasing life’s mistakes large and small.
I am often asked about utilizing infrared light to inspect old paintings. The idea is usually brought up in the context of finding a hidden signature or reading faded or obscured inscriptions in the interest of authentication of paintings. I’ve got some great stories to tell including looking for a treasure map under a painting that was supposed to smuggled out of Nazi Germany in WWII. It’s a very interesting subject that really fires up the imagination of many art collectors… and sometimes produces exciting results… and sometimes just the opposite! See what happens in this video!
So, as you can imagine, the appraised value of the three examples in this video all changed, some for the better and some for the worse, because of what was found with these inspections! Infrared, as you can see in this video, is different than looking at paintings with ultraviolet light. While even the casual art collecting enthusiast can own a UV black light to discover hidden details, this IR reflectometer may be the only unit available to you in a private lab this side of the US. UV visible fluorescence only causes the surface to glow put doesn’t penetrate. Infrared light penetrates the thinner layers of paint, the more transparent layers of paint, dark varnishes and often reveal:
- Obscured signatures or fraudulently altered signatures
- Inscriptions underneath linings
- Inscriptions in pencil on stretcher bars that have been obscured by dirt or the darkening of the wood color
- Often restorations are visible that are not detectable with UV only
- Under drawings or sketches made by the artist in planning the composition.
Infrared cameras that see only IR radiation are called infrared reflectometers. They can be used on all kinds of artwork to gather clues.
There is no guarantee that something will appear if inspected with IR. Perhaps there is too much paint over the inscription; perhaps the inscription is transparent to the IR detection… or perhaps there is nothing there!
If you have questions about an art item of yours, feel free to call and discuss it with Scott M. Haskins 805 564 3438 or email@example.com
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For more information about utilizing UV to detect previous restorations, CLICK HERE
For more information about art appraisals contact Richard Holgate at 805 895 5121
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Fighting storage damage to your artwork and collectibles
By Kelly Rose Almeida, Art Conservation Intern
Our Head of Art Conservation, Scott M. Haskins received an e-mail the other days that was all too familiar:
Hello Mr. Haskins :
I saw a video of your work in YouTube. I have a painting which was damaged in storage during my moving a couple of months ago. I am enclosing a few pictures that show close-ups of the damage (the rip) as well as the overall painting. The size of the painting when mounted is 7 ft x 7ft. I live in Miami and would like to know if you have someone in my area you can recommend that does high quality restorations. Also let me know if you would be interested in doing this restoration and if so, what would be the cost.
Based on what you can evaluate on the pictures, please give me your opinion of what I can expect of the restoration outcome.
Unfortunately, the bottom line on his response to her inquire was not encouraging; It is a painting that is not worth a lot financially but will require several $1,000’s for “high quality restorations” and to make perfect and be well preserved, long term. Most damaged paintings that we see at our art conservation lab, Fine Art Conservation Laboratories (Click to see video tour), could have been avoided if they were properly stored and protected.
When one thinks of storage wars, your mind might wonder to the A&E television show where treasure hunters bid on storage lockers in search for hidden riches. More common, however, is the battle to avoid damage while in storage to collectibles, breakables, artwork, memorabilia both valuable and emotionally important items. This battle often happens in your own home garage, attic or basements! Humidity, insects, dust, and water damage are just a few of the daily enemies homeowners must combat to protect their “stuff.” But is your stuff worth protecting? See this article if you are in doubt: Is it worth it? (CLICK HERE)
Properly storing your paintings may seem to be a hassle especially for paintings of low financial value or for which you don’t really care for (why else would you be putting into storage?!). But consider this: you may not know its value; you may not know the connection other family members have with the item; you may be seriously attacked by family if anything about the artwork is damaged… especially if it’s a family portrait!
In order to safeguard your memories and beautiful artwork for the future, it is imperative that you properly store your paintings in the right climate conditions, in the right area of your house or storage unit, and properly protected from the unseen dangers that surround them.
When it comes to temperature and humidity, it is inevitable for it to change with the seasons. It would be ideal for a painting to be stored at around 50% humidity. This would prevent mold growth, but also prevent the canvas and wood from getting too dry. Now, how do you moderate this? Well, you can’t really keep it perfect in most homes, but you can reduce drastic changes in temperature. If your home doesn’t have a good place, rental storage units sometimes have climate controlled units… but be sure to pay your rent (Storage Wars)!!!!
If your painting is exposed with no frame, then find a storage rack to set your canvases on that is off the ground. This will protect them from moisture that may seep on the floor. Also, padding! Use cardboard, preferably cardboard that is double thickness, between your canvas and ANYTHING that may come in contact with it.
At FACL, we received a painting that was stored poorly, and the front of the canvas was completely indented.Luckily for these patrons, our art conservators were able to use heat and moisture to repair the damage
Also, put cardboard between framed work as well, the more protection the better. It is always a good idea to make sure that you check your artwork a few times a year to make sure that items have not shifted, and to prevent damage like the image above.
So, to sum it up, you need a dry place with no dirt and no rodents or bugs, with protection between paintings. Every small step counts when it comes to protecting your artwork.
Of coarse, if you have any questions, contact Scott Haskins at Fine Art Conservation Labs in Santa Barbara, 805 564 3438 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Art appraisal questions? Call Richard Holgate 805 895 5121 or email@example.com
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We all have valuable, if not irreplaceable, items on paper: certificates, diplomas, love letters, genealogy… stuff that can’t be insured. Collectors of prints and art on paper have investment and decorating money wrapped up in their items. Water damage is enemy #1.
Have any of your prints or personal documents been exposed to water? Little brown dots on your paper items could tell a past story of mold that had died and dried. Maybe there is a leak in your garage and it happens to be right over a box of your family history papers, diplomas and wedding certificates?
If it has, you may be now wondering what those live fuzzy dots on it are… it is live mold that will get wore, stain worse with time and eat into your cherished family treasures, memorabilia, heirlooms. Now your thinking how in the world can you get rid of it???
This is a print that was in a woman’s house that caught on fire, the fireman luckily saved her house, so naturally all of her house contents (lots of art, paintings and prints) were exposed to water, staining, mold, etc. We got involved as the expert witness for her insurance company to help them figure out the damage, settle and to help her take care of the damage.
This print from the 1800’s had mold growing all over it. After it got wet, it was luckly set aside somewhere safe where it wouldn’t be touched, put somewhere to dry and now it is covered with the little brown dots of dead mold as mentioned before. It attacked the mating around the picture, the backing board behind the print, and there’s a little bit barely on the print itself.
So, what do you do now? I have good news! You can’t do anything about the dots nor water stains. You’ll need professional help for that. So, take that task off your To-Do list. But I will tell you how you can stabilize the stains so they don’t get darker or spread.
DO NOT THROW YOUR STAINED FAMILY HISTORY DOCUMENTS, OLD PHOTOS OR PRINTS AWAY! (My Mom did that and I’m still crying over the important stuff we lost) Follow these 5 Little Known Survival Tips, as I promised:
Don’t handle any paper items while they are wet! They will tear. Let them dry out, move the air with fans, don’t turn on a heater… that will encourage mold growth!
Do not try and clean the mat and backing board, just throw them away. If the framing needs to be pulled apart, the framer can do that for you. You will probably damage the matted item.
Deacidify the print from the back of the artwork with a deacidification spray. This will help retard any future discoloration and darkening of the paper or stains. Use in a well ventilated area. The solvent will also kill the mold.
Either store in Mylar protective envelope or reframe/re-mat in acid free buffer boards. As you can see in this photo, the mold afflicted the print mostly around the border and not in the central image. So, when you re-matt the item, you can “matt out” the mold stains around the edges. In this case you wouldn’t have to do anything to the “fix” the print.
Those of you that enjoy a little “light” do-it-yourself work, this process is for you. Get a copy of How To Save Your Stuff From A Disaster for more instructions, fun stories and invaluable help. For supplies, go to University Products.
Art conservation questions? Call Scott M. Haskins 805 564 3438
Art appraisal questions? Call Richard Holgate 805 895 5121
I’ve blogged before about the effects of humidity and temperature on oil and acrylic paintings on fabrics (it doesn’t matter if they are on linen, cotton canvas, hemp or a blend): Click here to see the article and comments.Well, this blog post is about MY PAINTING! I mean, as good as the care is on my own art, I would expect NOTHING to ever happen!
About 12 years I was digging through a storage room with a client/friend/dealer, Thom Gianetto of Edenhurst Gallery and he had a sweet 19th century painting by an unknown artist that I immediately knew my wife would love. This painting was totally NOT his “thing” as he is an expert in high quality early California Impressionist paintings that are really gorgeous and highly collectible. So, we worked out a deal and I got the painting. Here is a photo of the painting:
Fruit Vendors with baby by G. A. Cuomo c. 1880
The unframed painting was in very good condition, with a moderately yellowed varnish and a few cracks in the paint layers that I thought “I would just live with for now.” If you want to read about the unexpected cleaning of this painting, CLICK HERE (read about the unexpected time it took). We’ve had the painting hung in the front room of our house (CLICK HERE to see short video with this painting of earthquake proofing your collectibles), now for about 11 years, in a mild climate with no heating issues or excess humidity. For the last 6 months, though, we’ve noticed that the painting is looking very wavy or rippled and that the cracks are more pronounced. Sometimes ripples in paintings on canvas come and go depending on the season and the weather. But these ripples or gathers in the canvas have remained in the painting. Here’s a raking light photo:
Notice gathers/ripples along the right and left sides and the pronounced cracks across the upper areas
The ripples or distortions correspond to where the original artist tacked the canvas to the stretcher bars and now that the canvas is expanding and contracting the unevenness that the artist used in his technique are showing up. The expanding and contracting of the painting is a result of fluctuating humidity and temperature and perhaps its been a bit more muggy than usual where we live. So, it would be predictable that they would be more pronounced.
The question and decision to be made is: 1) Wait till the muggy season is over and see if the gathers, ripples and cracks in the painting are less visible. 2) Back the painting now so that we never see the ripples ever again and we stop the cracking of the paint where it is now so they don’t develop any further. We’ve chosen option #2. The backing of a painting is called “lining a painting” and this painting conservation treatment should NEVER change the texture of the front of the painting. It should also be “reversible” or removable in the future without harming the artwork.
In this case, the 19th century canvas is highly responsive to water and if I were to use a water based glue to attach the lining, it would cause the fibers to shrink and the painting would be extensively damaged. Here’s a close up of another painting that was glue/paste lined and the paint popped off in a small area… but I’ve seen entire paintings go ape nuts flaking after getting wet:
When the canvas shrinks, the paint pops off.
I could use wax as an adhesive to line the painting but its my experience that the wax doesn’t do very well in getting rid of cracking and distortions unless you get the painting so hot as to practically melt the paint and it often stains and darkens 19th century glazing layers particularly if they are light colored (but I’ve seen many dark colors stained too). So, I don’t use wax as a lining adhesive.
There are many choices of synthetic adhesives that have been tested and developed specifically for painting restoration lining treatments over the last 50 years or more. The couple that we use are more easily reversed and don’t put the painting at risk. They can also be utilized in cooperation with other treatments to remove distortions and cracks.
So, I will be using a synthetic adhesive for the lining treatment to get rid of the gathers/ripples and the cracks. I can pretty much guarantee that the painting will look perfect when we are done… and will stay that way for many decades into the future. Anytime way into the future, if for some reason our painting conservationlining treatment needs to be undone and removed, it will come off without damaging the original painting.
Framing: I’ve written before about how much I like to hunt for, collect and recycle old frames. Here’s the article: CLICK HERE. Well, that’s exactly what we did with this painting! A short time after I got this painting, I was scrounging around in an attic with a client and found a really beat up, dirty, busted up old frame from the 1880’s. Disgusted that he would have such a sorry looking item still around, the client gave it to me. I don’t have a photo of it before we did the restoration work but it was cut down to fit the painting in this blog post, the broken corner ornamentation was reconstructed and the broken and missing gesso was repaired (filled and consolidated). Then the whole frame was refinished with a 23K gold waterleaf period looking finish. Here’s what it looks like today. I love this frame!
Period frame, saved from the trash, from end of the 1800's, cut down, restored and refinished.
Detail of restored frame
Nice “package” (as the dealer’s would say), eh? And I hit a home run with my wife too! By the way, if you have a beat up old broken down frame you want to give me, let me know. Maybe we can trade something for it!
So, I think you can see there are several valuable points made in this blog post if you are an art collector:
1. Why paintings have ripples and crack (humidity and temperature fluxuations)
2. Choices when choosing a lining technique for paintings and why
3. Great example of reusing old frames
4. I gave you 5 great (non self promoting) links to other high interest information
Keep these points in mind and you will be thanking me for helping you to save $1,000’s and get better higher quality results in your collection care and painting collecting.
In exchange for this valuable information, would you please give this blog post a THUMBS UP? Thanks!
Art conservation questions? Call Scott M. Haskins 805 564 3438
Art and antiques appraisal questions? Call Richard Holgate, FACL Appraisals 805 895 5121
Call Thom Gianetto, Edenhurst Gallery 949 376 9222 or go to the gallery website at http://www.edenhurstgallery.com for Early California Impressionist and Modernist Paintings
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Keywords in this article: effects of humidity and temperature on oil and acrylic paintings, yellowed varnish, cracks in the paint layers, gathers/ripples/cracks in a painting, lining a painting, Early California Impressionist, Modernist Paintings, Art and antiques appraisal, art conservation, reusing old frames, lining technique for paintings, lining treatment, painting conservation, painting restoration, wax lining adhesive, glue/paste lining adhesive, synthetic lining adhesive, earthquake proofing your collectibles, Insurance Adjusters
Vintage oil paintings by Granville Redmond are some of the most sought after highly esteemed early California arts collated internationally. Because he is so well known, its amazing to me when a new painting that no one has ever seen surfaces… usually “dug up” by an art dealer who knows how to do his research and find such things. Here is a newly found gem…
Badly in need of cleaning/removal of the discolored varnish
Well, this dark landscape may not seem like a gem to you but the new owner knew before hand what this picture is supposed to look like when the darkened, yellowed varnish is removed. That is a kind of an inner gift some people have; to look past the grunge, mold, grime of the ages (some dealers romantically call it “Titian’s Dirt”) to see what things are supposed to look like once they are cleaned and restored. That’s where the money can be made too, as a dealer. When its ugly, they buy low, and when its gorgeous, they sell high. Here’s the painting during the art conservation cleaning:
The varnish removal should never endanger the original paint.
There are a couple of reasons I’m showing this to you, assuming you are a collector, curator, vintage art lover: once you start feeling at home with the aesthetics, history and market of a certain style and period of art, then the next level deeper in your knowledge should be to know more about condition of the artwork which will open your knowledge about fakes, poorly restored items and appraisal values. While authenticity stories usually interest everyone, very few people know any details of how to know and who to ask. Figuring out the condition of artwork is a major factor in determining value and authenticity. As you might guess, the older the artwork, the more tangled and convoluted the web of provenance, condition and authenticity can get. OK, maybe I’m getting off track here. We started this blog post talking about a new find of a previously unknown painting from around 1920 by Granville Redmond. In this case, the dealer/researcher who found and purchased te artwork knew the difference between needing a clean and the painting having a condition problem. In other words, even though he knew it needed to be cleaned, he knew it was in wonderful original condition. Kudos to Greg Colley at California Art Company for the find! His website is http://www.californiaartcompany.com. Here’s what it looks like cleaned:
1920's oil painting by Granville Redmond cleaned of its old discolored varnish
I love his paintings that have moons, suns etc. in them. Despite Redmond’s fame with poppies, lupines and wonderful colors, this Tonalist picture is actually a type of painting or mood that he was famous for. In fact, his first art show medal (2nd place) was for a Tonalist beach scene. I also like the little light flickering in the window of the boat.
If you would like to begin to delve into a deeper world of knowledge of condition and discovering the hidden details of restoration as you look at art and evaluate before you buy, then perhaps you will appreciate the following IMPORTANt, USEFUL, 3 tips:
I had a client recently, well experienced but he relied only upon “his eye.” That is, he thought he could see everything because he was so experienced in looking at art (and his ego got in the way). Recently, this art collector got scammed!
See the hidden deception that he NEVER saw … and it cost him BIG TIME (about $35,000!
INSPECTING AND EVALUATING A VINTAGE PAINTING (AND MORE!) WITH A UV BLACKLIGHT:
REQUIRED Due Diligence For Art Collectors!
GOOD CONDITION? RESTORATIONS?
VALUE AND APPRAISAL?
3 GOOD TIPS FOR ART COLLECTORS
Every art collector questions the condition before a purchase… or should! Art dealers and auction house personnel, art appraisers, insurance claim adjusters also rely on accurate evaluations and inspections that would benefit from the expertise of an art conservator
First tip: Ask this question… Does previous art restoration/conservation treatments affect the condition and value of the item? The answer may be different depending on what professional “job” you have; a collector may look at an artwork differently than a claims adjuster.
Tip Number Two involves another condition question that should always be asked regarding previous retouching/ inpainting. This diagnostic method is not as easy as recognizing purple blotches. How much inpainting affects the value? That’s not an easy question to answer and is better answered by an appraiser.
And that sets me up for a good segue for Tip Number Three: associate with and choose professional “mentors.” Choose an art conservator that adheres to a professional code of ethics. The ethics of professional art conservationdo not allow for an art conservator/ restorer to buy, sell or appraise (unless he’s a certified). There are many ways unethical people can take advantage in the art world. Of course, choosing to associate with the most knowledgeable person will be of the greatest benefit to you.
So, find out more about the use of a blacklight… An essential, REQUIRED due diligence step for art collectors!