Vintage Art

Old Family Portraits – Ask yourself these 3 important questions!

I know my last post was about family portraits but you have GOT TO SEE this one! This family portrait was brought to us by the exhibits coordinator for the National archives and was really in sad shape. Notice the 18″ slash down the left side. Here’s a raking light shot of the distortions/gathers in the canvas.

The painting canvas was so brittle that the tacking edge nails had pulled through the fabric so the edges were loose and the painting was barely hanging onto the stretcher bars. The surface of the painting was LOADED with dirt, grime and discolored varnish… nicotine? How did this painting get into such precarious condition? Except it was adopted by a preservationist soul, this portrait and piece of history was destined for the trash.

Professional art conservation and painting restoration to the rescue. The rip repair of this painting’s ripped edges were rejoined under the microscope and, in fact, here’s a video to show how we do it:

The cleaning was actually, surprisingly not so difficult. Once the varnish was dissolved, the rest of the dirty layers washed away with it’s removal. What a difference!!!!

So again, how did this painting get into such precarious condition? As you might imagine, all of this damage is caused by handling and the way it was treated. In other words, all of this damage was avoidable… or preventable! What circumstances do you paintings find themselves? Are fragile old paintings displayed in high traffic areas? Are paintings not on the walls simple leaning against themselves in the closet, garage or basement? Immediate action to remedy the situation may save you many $1,000′s of dollars!

Art conservation questions? Call Scott M. Haskins 805 564 3438

Art appraisal questions? Call Richard Holgate 805 895 5121

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After Conservation Family Portrait

This painting has minimal touch up done (inpainting) and many imperfections, that are original to the painting or are a result of the artist’s technique, remained. The goal was to have the portrait look great… but have it be as original as possible.

To learn more about what you can do at home to take care of your stuff, download now a copy of Scott’s book, How To Save Your Stuff From A Disaster at 50% off!

CLICK HERE to know more:


UV Blacklight info, I need your help…

Hey y’all. I’m planning to promote an UV Blacklight package for collectors and I have a phone script I need to test. Can I talk to you on the phone? It’ll take a few minutes. Call me at 805 570 4140 or email me your phone number at I don’t need to be your “real life” friend. I’ll talk to anyone who wants to chat. It should be a very interesting chat if you like art and collecting. Thanks. TTYS


UV Black light a Smart Way To Inspect Collectibles, Heirlooms – See Short Video

You don’t have to be a sophisticated collector of art to need a UV black light in your pocket when you are antiquing, gallery hopping or wandering around auction previews. If you have one in hand, its FUN to see the hidden conditions, restorations etc! Here’s a short video about a painting collector who didn’t use one and got taken big time!

See another VERY INTERESTING 2 min. video, an informative article and a UV blacklight package at

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See you soon!

Art conservation questions? Call Toll Free 888 704 7757

Art Appraisal Questions? 805 895 5121

Smoke damage, water damage, mold, broken/damaged items from shipping, storms etc?

We can help you with your insurance company. Don’t let the “Pack out” workers handle your valuable treasures.

Call us toll free at 888 704 7757


Even Trash Can Be Turned Into Art Treasure with Proper Conservation

Shockingly, this stunning piece was found flaking and dingy in the garbage! An inept attempt was made to “restore” it that involved an abundant application of wax to hold the painting together and a wipe with solvent to remove part of the dirt.

The Dumpster Diver who discovered the painting donated it to a collector who recognized that under the disaster of flaking paint, wax, and grime, there was a valuable vintage piece.  Some research and careful examination yielded the title and date: “The Discussion” from 1929.  This discovery prompted the collector to contact us for a closer examination and professional conservation treatment. (more…)