Tips For Fine Art Collectors

Oil Painting Rip Repair – Las Vegas – Steve Wynn’s Picasso

Picasso in his workshop When Steve Wynn put his elbow through his $165 million Picasso, he probably got more world-wide publicity value that the painting was worth!! And that doesn’t include the “help” in selling the “damaged” painting through the insurance settlement, which was substantial. He “made out like a bandit” but then again that shouldn’t surprise anyone when talking about people that do business and collect on his level.

You’ll remember when the Sunflowers by Van Gogh sold for $85 million and was the most expensive painting ever sold, at the time? Years later, when the Japanese insurance company that bought the painting resold it to an Australian, they declared that they calculated that they received more international publicity for their company than they could have bought for the $85 million!!!… AND then they sold the painting for a profit resulting in years of mega-free publicity!! They were very happy about the resounding success of their business strategy.

The elbow-through-the-painting-fiasco happened years ago but I’m still asked about what I think about the matter (mostly for entertainment value I think) and I’m asked if I was called to work on the painting, since we do so much work and we are the only firm providing professional painting conservation services in Las Vegas (there are other restorers but we won’t talk about that…). Here’s a quick video review of our art conservation work in LV.

Art Conservation Las Vegas The work of correctly and professionally repairing the “ding” in the painting is not that big of a deal in art conservation treatment terms. I accept that Picasso is the most influential artist of the 20th century but just because its by Picasso doesn’t make it art materials-wise or technically, unique. I’m sure, though that there are a myriad of political issues involved beyond the simple repair. I haven’t seen the painting nor have I seen any documentation of the damage. But having read the accounts of the damage, I envision what was needed to be done to bring the painting back to as close to “pre-existing conditions” (an insurance term) as possible, was at most a job of a couple of $1,000s. But I heard that the final bill was around $65,000… so it sounds like there is more to the drama than we’re heard.

My Dad had a saying, “The definition of an “expert” is someone who’s from out of town.” While I’m involved with a couple of conservation projects in Italy as an out-of-town consulting expert  ( I can see that the same is true for Steve Wynn’s expert art conservator. My comment here is not a negative comment regarding the skills of the art conservator that did the work on the painting and I’m sure she is extremely skilled and well acquainted with Picasso’s paintings.  You’ll be interested to read the following article about the French art conservator that is imported to work on the collection’s paintings:

This short video shows you the step by step process of repairing a rip but also includes the backing or lining process which I’m not sure was performed on Wynn’s Picasso:

Repair a rip in an oil painting - Las Vegas

Want to know more about FACL?

Fine Art Conservation Laboratories (FACL, Inc.) has been Providing professional painting restoration services since 1986 and Scott M. Haskins, Chief Painting Conservator has been working in the field since 1975

Click here for background information:

Click here for FACL’s YouTube channel:

Feel free to call or write if you have questions:

Scott M. Haskins

805 570 4140 mobile – 805 564 3438 office

If you would like to know more about what you can do to protect and preserve your original family history items, collectibles and memorabilia click on this link for a free copy of Scott M. Haskins’ book Save Your Stuff – Collection Care Tips, 210 pages with 35 embedded how-to videos.

CLICK HERE  for our YouTube channel to see a quick video on Discovering Hidden Signatures on Paintings!




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Comments (2)

Jim HellorMay 8th, 2016 at 6:55 am

Man, reading through your blog I just cannot believe that these types of repairs are even possible. I would just assume all is damaged and that is it. Good tips!

Chase MillerMay 8th, 2016 at 7:45 am

I really like to watch the videos that show the restoration and repair. They are very helpful!

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