GUILD IN THE PRESS
A City of Treasures
- New Orleans Magazine, October 2000
Because not all art and antiques are uncovered in tip-top condition, there is the New Orleans Conservation Guild, one of only a handful of art-restoration centers in the U.S., says director Blake Vonder Haar. The center primarily restores paintings, but also repairs works of art on paper, frames, gilded objects, glass, porcelain and ceramics, and furniture.
When fire ravaged Peristyle restaurant in the French Quarter, the Guild was summoned to restore the murals, painted in 1919 by Ferdinand Martin. Prior to the restoration, the artist was mistakenly identified as either Alonzo Lansford or Charles Wellington Boil.
Normally when researching paintings, says Vonder Haar, you glean surface information about the sitter and time period. In a 17th-century Scottish portrait the Guild took on, it was able to identify the sitters entire family tree, as well as the painter, locale and time period.
A few collectors may want to access the Guild's resources before they are duped. Vonder Haar says one art collector consulted her too late. He thought he bought a Picasso. Instead, Guild researchers discovered it was a bad forgery.
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