GUILD IN THE PRESS
Southern Breeze Summer
Art Restoration Finds Place in Big
by Marilyn Culpepper
Orleans is an old city. Indeed, the Old World flavor of the place is
one of the strongest attractions drawing thousands of visitors annually
and creating new residents daily.
Blake Vonder Haar is one of many people who came as a visitor and made
New Orleans home. Now president and conservator-in-charge of The New
Orleans Conservation Guild, Inc., she manages to blend the citys
old and new artistic efforts in a unique way.
The extensively traveled Blake, who opened the Guild in 1998, works
with a team of a dozen conservators who have rescued antique treasures
ranging from cracked and broken glass and decorative arts to frames
that have lost their luster to dilapidated period furniture and water-damaged
portraits by Early American masters. The Guilds work goes beyond
the walls of its rambling home in an appealing old two-story brick commercial
building at 3301 Chartres Street, a mere pulse-beat from the heart of
the high-energy city.
Art owners are encouraged to call, write or e-mail for information about
restoration needs, curatorial care and collections management. Blake
says high professional standards are a hallmark of her team and she
has heard far too many tragic stories from clients who came
to the Guild after being duped by those purporting to be restoration
specialists who lacked the training and skills that the profession requires.
Theres no standard certification for conservators,
she explained. She said that until only a decade or so ago there were
no university degree programs in art restoration and that many practitioners
were self-taught. Thats the motivation for adding apprentices
working under her supervision to the conservation team.
The Guilds clients include museums, galleries and auction houses
as well as private and public collections worldwide. Making your way
through rows of plaster statues in various stages of repair and restoration
reminds the visitor of an antique shop in Florence or a museum workspace
in virtually any European city.
The Guild opens its Vintage and Antique Frame Gallery and Frame Studiolocated
on the ground floorMonday through Friday 11 a.m.6 p.m. and
every third Saturday.
The Guild sponsors Bywater Art Market, held the third Saturday of each
month, showcasing works by area painters, sculptors, potters and furniture
makers. Shoppers will be delighted by the relatively low prices to be
found at this quality art sale.
For more information on art restoration, visit or call the business
New Orleans Conservation Guild, Inc.
3301 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70117-6201
504-944-7900, fax: 504-944-8750
Antique and Vintage Frame Gallery And Custom Frame Studio
Open MondayFriday 11 a.m.6 p.m., plus third Saturday of
each month 11 a.m.5 p.m.
Bywater Art Market
3301 Chartres at Piety Street, New Orleans
Open third Saturday of each month 9 a.m.3 p.m
504-944-7900 for information and exhibitor application