The New Orleans Conservation Guild has been featured in a number of magazine and newspaper articles as well as local newscasts. Some print excerpts and video clips appear below.

Today, she is the president and founder of one of the only multi-disciplinary art restoration houses in the South, but 18 years ago, Blake Vonder Haar was between careers, waiting in a Paris subway station and reading a magazine.


Expert finds that restoring art helps restore owners, too
Molly Reid, The Times-Picayune
Saturday, July 24, 2010


A news report on the New Orleans Conservation Guild and the restoration of damage from hurricane Katrina.

Fox 8 News
July 6, 2007

From being fermented in eight feet of brackish floodwater for three months to minor touch-ups, the New Orleans Conservation Guild has tackled it all in its efforts to restore antique and vintage frames to their original radiance—or as close as possible.

A Frame Job
by Jewel Bush
-New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles, April 2007


For many people whose homes flooded, the only salvageable objects from their pre-Katrina lives are the paintings and photographs that hung on their walls. Blake VonderHaar, 44, is president of the New Orleans Conservation Guild, where 25 professional conservators have painstakingly restored more than 5,000 of such works of art since Hurricane Katrina struck.

Why Stay?
New Orleanians tell CityBusiness why they’re not giving up on the city.
by Kathryn Jezer-Morton
-New Orleans City Business, January 1, 2007

Jan De Groot's dark eyes and raven hair gleam in contrast to the snowy wingspan of an owl stretched just beyond his right shoulder. Wearing a deep blue jacket, he clutches a rifle with one hand while checking his pocket with the other. His is an image painted in 1937 by American artist Jerry Farnsworth, one that Jean and Ed Davidson assumed was lost forever to the clutches of Hurricane Katrina.

Saving Graces
by Kristen Twedt
-Mississippi Magazine, September/October 2006

"As paintings go, it was not that good, really," Madeleine McMullan recalls in a voice still gilded by pre-war Austria after 60 years in the United States. "I don't even know who painted it. It wasn't considered valuable — in fact, my father hated it." McMullan is talking about a portrait of her mother that was painted in Vienna in 1920, smuggled out of the country when the family fled the Nazis on the eve of World War II, and lost on the surge of Hurricane Katrina last year.

Katrina's Art
by Alan Huffman
-Lost Magazine, September 2006

Last year’s storm seriously hurt many New Orleans framing businesses—although some escaped with minor damage. Here’s a look at the hurricane’s impact on a number of Crescent City framers.

One Year Later
By Bill Mosser
- PFM - Picture Framing Magazine, August 2006


Between the floodwater and the termites, you might say Lee and Sarah Campbell Phillips' 100-plus-year-old house on Bienville Street had gone to the devil. But now, a set of angels is watching over its redemption.

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by Karen Taylor Gist
- Times Picayune, Inside Out, July 22, 2006

"What do the photograph of your firstborn child, Aunt Fanny's silver bowl, and a 200-year-old Italian painting have In common? All of them are treasures and need proper care if future generations are to enjoy them. But what happens if something breaks or suffers another type of damage? That's when a conservator comes to the rescue."

The Art and Science of Conservation
by Elizabeth Weinstein
LASM Art Curator
LASM Quarterly, Spring 2006

A news report on the New Orleans Conservation Guild and the restoration of damage from hurricane Katrina.

WWL News
April 3, 2006

I am writing this story from a Katrina-forced exile in Punta Gorda, Florida. Yes, Punta Gorda, the small Gulf city midway between Sarasota and Fort Myers, that Hurricane Charley blasted last August 13.

Click here for the complete article

Blown Away
Post-Hurricane Advice on Preserving Damaged Art and Antiques
by Robert H. Goldberg
- Country Roads, October 2005

With expertise and passion for her profession - art conservation - Blake Vonder Haar has become an integral part of the movement breathing colorful new life into the tiny neighborhood known to New Orleanians as the Bywater.

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Visual Arts
Bywater Builder
For Conservator Blake Vonder Haar, art conservation and neighborhood-building go hand-in-hand
by Meredith Landry
- Country Roads, September 2005

"Is that finish on your antique table looking worn? Your mirror cloudy? Before you "fix" these problems, you may want to check with an expert because you may actually devalue your piece"

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Living with Antiques
To Refinish or not to Refinish?
by Lili LeGardeur
- New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles, April 2005

"From the French Quarter to the Arts District, the museums, galleries, and artists of New Orleans are thriving on an increasingly sophisticated blend of Southern tradition and global culture"

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City Focus: New Orleans
"Amazing Cross-Fertilization"
by John R. Kemp
- ARTnews, February 2005

" I am in the presence of 'The Pig Woman,' and for the moment at least, the monotone drone of the auctioneer, the shuffling of folding chairs and the easy amble of traffic passing by Magazine Street all succumb to my fascination with the Knute Heldner painting."

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"Every Picture Tells a Story"
- Grandeur, Winter 2004

"Coming soon: a 93,000-square-foot center designed to provide an up-close-and-personal look at local art, in progress.

The Louisiana ArtWorks complex is scheduled to open its doors in September, giving local artists access to subsidized studios, professional help with business planning and heavy-duty equipment like foundries and a wood-burning ceramics kiln..."

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"Art As Business"
by Ian McNulty
- Biz magazine, August 2004

"Remember that Roben Doisneau poster of the French couple kissing—or did you lean towards reproductions of Van Goghs and Klimts? No matter, you probably mounted the $15 poster on cardboard with glue and framed it in cheap, thin metal. In college, that was art, and that was its framing. But now that we're grown-up about art—buying original oils on canvas, antique prints, historic photograph- (maybe an original Doisneau?)—we need to frame responsibly. That means that framing should not only accentuate the artwork, but conserve it."


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"Border Patrol
It pays to have your beIoved artwork correctly framed."
by Christine Richard
- St. Charles Avenue Magazine's Antiques and Art, 2004

"When deciding whether to paint on canvas or linen, artists can solicit advice from two authorities: conservators and other artists. Here, Blake Vonder Haar, the director of the New Orleans Conservation Guild, and portraitist Duffy Sheridan, of Eloy, Arizona, offer their opinions..."


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"Understanding Canvas and Linen"
by Christopher Willard
- American Artist magazine, September 2003


"Founded in 1997, Blake Vonder Haar's New Orleans Conservation Guild, Inc. is the parent company for a vast emerging art empire. Their Center for Art & Antique Restoration has become an indispensible part of the regional art community catering to private and public clients alike. Their Antique Frame Gallery is one of the few galleries in the US specializing in Antique picture frames. In 2002 the Guild started the Bywater Art Market, a monthly outdoor art festival featuring 60+artists selling their own original works."

"Restoring New Orleans One Piece at a Time"

- Gambit Weekly's Women in Business 2003

"Most of us believe that our treasured antiques and personal possessions are
secure from damage within the walls of our homes. While that is usually true, under certain circumstances that crashing sound in the distance might be grandma's Meissen vase hitting the deck..."


Click here for the complete article

"When Catastrophe Calls - There's no cure like prevention, but when prevention fails..."
by Robert H. Goldberg
- Country Roads magazine, March 2003

"New 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 city’s old and new artistic efforts in a unique way..."


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"Art Restoration Finds Place in Big Easy"
by Marilyn Culpepper
- Southern Breeze magazine, Summer 2003

"In and era of shrinking global national, state and local support for museums and their programs, it is frequently all but impossible to put some objects into "exhibition condition" without assistance from skilled and qualified colleagues. Such was the case with the splendid First Empire (1804-14) carved giltwood frame surrounding Baron Antoine-Jean Gro's full-length 1808 portrait of Empress Josephine at her beloved chateau of Malmaison. The portrait belongs to the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, Palais Masséna, Nice, France, and was presented by the empress to her friend Monsieur Pierlot in 1810...

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"With a Little Help from Our Friends: The New Orleans Conservation Guild Restores a First Empire Frame"
by John Webster Keefe
- Arts Quarterly, July/Aug/Sept 2003

This excerpt from an episode of Our Place on the HGTV Network highlights frames and frame restoration.

Our Place
Nov./Dec., 2001

"...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."

- New Orleans Magazine, October 2000
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"The New Orleans Conservation Guild has brought Old World discipline and craft to a thoroughly modern problem: decaying works of art, which are abundant in our wet, sunny, moldy, insect-infested home."

"...before 1998, when guild proprietor Blake Vonder Haar moved into the current space, there had never been such a large, one-stop, multi-service conservation center here. Only four or five others like it exist in the country, but perhaps none as indigenous to its surroundings as this one."

- Times Picayune, Saturday, July 8th, 2000
Click here for the complete article

"Amazing things are happening at The New Orleans Conservation Guild on Burgundy Street. Vast numbers of works of art are in various stages of restoration and conservation there. Sound techniques and scientific analysis are used to revive pieces of art weathered by time or poor care."

"In yet another challenge, the NOCG was awarded the opportunity to restore a collection of rare property plans by Marie Adrien Persac (1822-1873). Unbeknownst to the Guild, it participated in a competition for the project when given a practice run on another work on paper. NOCG was chosen for its excellence in handling difficult conservation problems."

- Southeastern Antiquing and Collecting Magazine, July 2000
Click here for the complete article

"The frame and gilding department is housed on the first floor. Like other departments, it's a great studio space where highly trained conservators work to hand carve lost ornamental features of antique frames, as well as gild frames and objects according to specific tones that vary from piece to piece."

"The recently conserved 18th century French giltwood frame the guild is storing for the (still unfinished) New Orleans Ritz-Carlton Hotel is an excellent example of the Guild's work in frame restoration.

- Southeastern Framer, July 2000
Click here for the complete article

"IN A CITY SO RICH IN VISUAL ARTS and so well known for its drinking establishments, it should come as no surprise that occasionally the two overlap. There's no need to dwell on how often and in what numbers area artists have gotten lost in the labyrinths of local saloons. Instead, our time would be best spent on the marvelous works of art that can often be found by raising our eyes above the rim of a cocktail glass or beer mug—especially the murals that were created specifically for the barrooms where they reside."

- The Times-Picayune Lagnaippe, April 21, 2000
Click here for the complete article

"When asked to give examples of some recent Guild work, Ms. Vonder Haar pauses momentarily, then casually mentions the call she received in April from frantic members of' the New Orleans museum exhibition staff concerning two entries in the upcoming (then only a few days away) Degas presentation. It seems that both the $40 million masterpiece "the Cotton Market", and "The Invalid", both centerpieces of the exhibition, needed attention for damage in transit and other minor touches. The NOCG under Ms. Vonder Haar directed the necessary restoration and production of "Degas in New Orleans" which opened on time to national acclaim."

- Bywater News, July 1999
Click here for the complete article

"Years ago, when the gilding on antique mirror and picture frames became dull or darkened, the handyman of the family would visit the hardware store to buy a can of his favorite radiator paint... Well, here we are at the start of the twenty-first century, and those antique frames with their radiator paint finishes intact are still coming through the door of the New Orleans Conservation Guild. Unfortunately their true restoration requires the time-consuming removal of the handyman finish before getting down to the serious work."

"If you inherit an antique painting, mirror, statue or table that seems to need some freshening and the urge to do it yourself comes over you, stop yourself. Don't reach for the bondo or radiator paint. Consult with a conservator. You have a responsibility to maintain these objects for posterity. And you might just be tampering with history."

- Country Roads Magazine, October 2000
Click here for the complete article

"The large mural of Peristyle's namesake - an open air structure with Doric columns built in 1907 and located in City Park - seems brighter and even larger than my pre-fire memories of it. All for good reason. Blake Vonder Haar of the New Orleans Conservation Guild supervised the restoration of the bar mural and the mural in the dining room. They are both oil paintings on canvas done by Ferdinand Martin and completed between 1919 and 1920...both murals were just nailed to the walls."

"Now both murals have been properly stretched on frames, revealing about 3 feet of the bar mural that hasn't been seen in a while. 'The murals look incredible,' Vonder Haar says. 'They probably have never been restored. Imagine being in a bar with poor ventilation. We got a lot of crud off.'"

"Keeping the Flame,
After a devastating fire, Peristyle has a new look and a new menu"
- New Orleans Magazine, September 2000

"The New Orleans Conservation Guild Inc. - at nearby 4101 Burgundy Street - is a center for the restoration, conservation, research and appraisal of fine art and antiques. The company specializes in paintings, works on paper, frames, porcelain, stone, glass, furniture and gilded objects."

"The Big Easy Does It Again"
- Arts & Antiques, Fall 2000

"'Fine-art restoration is not a Martha Stewart-type project... it requires many years of special training. It's not that people can't do it, but they need to know what to do when things go wrong.' Among the many things the Guild does right: superior custom framing at its offshoot Antique and Vintage Frame Gallery..."


Click here for the complete article

"Restore America"
- WHERE New Orleans, June 2001

"A newly opened frame shop, by the same people as The New Orleans Conservation Guild, Inc., will carry a stock of unusual frames, restore your antique frames or duplicate historic frame. Staffed by artists and conservators, the Gallery of Antique Frames is the only one of its kind outside of New York and Washington, D.C...."


Click here for the complete article

"Treasure Hunting"
- New Orleans magazine, April 2001

"So how do you frame a document page that is older than the Constitution? We offered this challenge to Blake Vonder Haar, President and Conservator-in-Charge of the New Orleans Conservation Guild, Inc. and Antique and Vintage Frame Gallery. As you can see, Blake returned with a superb work. Here are her comments about this challenge:

'We are a professional art conservation center, and our frame shop and gallery feature a selection of over 500 antiue and vintage frames, so of course we relished in the thought of featuring some wonderful old frames for this project. The challenge of using vintage and antique frames is, of course, size and proportion...'"


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"Frame This! Rare Bible Leaf"
- Southeastern Framer, April 2002

New Orleans Conservation Guild Home Page

Contact us for more information:
New Orleans Conservation Guild, Inc.
3620 Royal Street
New Orleans, La. 70117

Phone: (504) 944-7900
Fax: (504) 944-8750