Conservation of marble, bronze, plaster, sandstone, limestone, and wooden polychromed and gilded sculptures is one of the major passions and strengths of our laboratory. We preserve artistic authenticity and restore the original beauty of objects from different historical periods and various provenance. This includes Roman times, through small 17 c. Madonnas, to large abstracts compositions by Henry Moore, Antoine Poncet, Karel Appel, or realistic garden sculptures of Sylvia Shaw Judson, and plaster of George Segal.
Madonna with child - Wooden polychromed and gilded sculpture - 18th century
On left: sculpture before conservation. Visible and strong layer of dirt covering the surface. Losses throughout the sculpture, including the hair, hands, and feet. The gilded surface was deteriorating and destroyed.
In middle: sculpture during restoration. The sculpture is cleaned and the missing fragments are reconstructed. The surface is prepared for gilding.
On right: sculpture after conservation. The sculpture was gilded with 24 karat gold leaves with accents of white gold. These were applied in the traditional water technique.
The Sculpture of Christ - Wooden polychromed and gilded sculpture - 17th century
1st Row: sculpture before and during conservation. Left picture shows overpaintings, missing fragments of the crown and hair, losses of the wood and paint layer. Middle and right pictures show fills in the wood and the exposed original paint layer of cobalt glass pigment exposed.
2nd Row: sculpture during conservation. The hair, crown, and gesso layer is reconstructed.
3rd Row: sculpture after conservation. The paint layer was restored, and the perizoma (loincloth) was regilded with 24 karat gold leaves.
4th Row: before and after restoration of the hand of Christ.
The Goose by William Turner - Bronze Sculpture - 20th century - Chicago Botanic Garden
1st Row: sculpture before conservation. Goose was broken off from the base. A layer of grime covered the surface of the sculpture. Original patina had significant discolorations and abrasions.
2nd Row: sculpture after conservation. The goose was welded back to the base to stabilize the structure. The surface was cleaned and a new patina was applied.
The Naughty Faun by Sylvia Shawn Judson - Limestone sculpture - 1921
1st and 2nd Row: before and during conservation. The sculpture was previously restored unsuccessfully and without sensitivity for the original color and sophisticated details. The cement was removed and the structure reinforced with titanium non-corrosive rods.
3rd Row: sculpture after conservation. The missing fragments were reconstructed reflecting the original stylistic features using original photographs of the work. The reconstruction utilized limestone material to match the original in color and texture.
3 Angels from Epiphany Church in Chicago - Wooden polychromed and gilded sculptures - 19th century
1st Row: before and after conservation. Left picture shows significant cracks in the face, and dirty paint layer. Regilding efforts already begun, and are shown completed in the right picture.
2nd Row: sculptures after conservation. All three had all gold areas regilded with 24 karat gold leaves.
The King - Wooden polychromed and gilded sculpture - 20th century
1st Row: sculpture before conservation. The surface is dirty and has many visible and deep cracks. There are missing fragments of the finger, crown, and chest. The paint and gold layer is covered in cracks.
2nd Row: sculpture after conservation. The sculpture was cleaned. The missing fragments were reconstructed. The losses were filled and inpainted and the gold layer losses regilded with 24 karat gold leaves and silver.
Sculpture by Karel Appel - Painted wood sculpture - 20th century
1st Row: sculpture before conservation. Losses in the paint layer and gesso, and joints were unstable.
2nd Row: sculpture after conservation. The losses were filled and inpainted, and the structure stabilized.