This week we officially scheduled our workshop with ICA- Art Conservators. Two painting conservators will come out late September to train staff on how to clean the ceilings that have painted details. This is exciting because two rooms should look much better, the rest will look somewhat better.
Next I’m trying to identify additional paintings for the Faces of Erie wall. That challenge is to find paintings in good condition that the sitter can be tied to a story in another gallery. I was excited to discover the Historical Society had a painting of Mrs. Nancy Eagley. Tools from her and her husband’s mid-nineteenth century farm will be included in the agriculture exhibit the painting was created by Moses Billings, a local artist whose self-portrait will also be included on the wall.
I was concerned when I noticed smudges on her cheek and forehead so I had our Collections Manager, Samantha, check it out. The smudges are the result of in-painting done by someone without the experience to do the touch-up correctly. Samantha estimated that it would cost about $4,000 if we went to a conservator like ICA. But she suggested we reach out to the conservation program at Buffalo State. Which we can have a graduate student perform the conservation work under the supervision of the professors. We heard back and it sounds like this is something that could be completed in the next couple of months!