Saturday, December 13, 2008

washington gets some work done 90210 style

a job i wouldn't mind having-art conservator:

Reviving Faces From the Past (NYTimes)
Kenneth S. Moser, an art conservator, in his studio at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where he has been restoring many of the historical portraits that hang at City Hall. Behind him is one of them, a Francis Carpenter portrait of Myron Holley Clark, who was a governor of New York in the 1850s.Mr. Moser employs a vast collection of brushes to do his work. He uses them, among other things, to fill in gaps of missing paint, to glue in flaking pieces of paint, to apply varnish to the canvas and to clear off dust. Mr. Moser uses magnifying glasses to work on the portrait behind him, of George Washington by M. M. Swett.

A moist cotton swab enables Mr. Moser to remove some of the yellowing varnish from Washington's portrait.

Detail of the portrait of Washington before and after Mr. Moser worked on it.

Mr. Moser's studio in the Brooklyn Navy Yard includes paintings in various stages of restoration.

The interior of the Governors Room in City Hall, where some of the many portraits that will be restored hang. Forty-three of the 108 portraits in City Hall have been refurbished so far, and the goal is to restore 10 more by next fall.

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