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Old 12-19-2007, 01:27 AM   #1
John Reidy John Reidy is offline
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Restoration Help




I hope this post is in the correct place. I have a friend who has a portrait of a relative by Alphaeus P. Cole. The painting was in an attic for many years and at a Christmas party he showed it to me. I was impressed by the quality of the work and was told that it was a portrait of his aunt as a young girl. She has long passed away and my friend discovered recently in another relative's attic.

The portrait is dirty and needs cleaning but the biggest problem is a tear about 1.5 - 2 inches long in the lower right quandrant of the painting.

I am curious if anyone here has any suggestions on how to best proceed in restoring this beautiful piece.
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Old 12-19-2007, 12:13 PM   #2
Julie Deane Julie Deane is offline
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My opinion would be to find a credentialed art restorer, who has the training to do what is needed.
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Old 12-19-2007, 07:24 PM   #3
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
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John,
if the tear is a clean cut I would glue a piece of unprimed canvas on the back side, using acrylic glue.

Cut a piece of canvas 1" wider and longer than the tear and glue it generously and place it on the backside of the picture. Then support the backside with something flat so that you can apply pressure on the front side using your fingers. When the tear is put into place, like a doctor would fix a wound, you put a piece of plastic over the cut and a book or something until the glue is dry.

Then you can fill in the missing paint with a small brush.

About cleaning, you could try with some mild soap water and a stiff bristle brush to see if it is only dust and smoke that needs to be removed.
You clean s small area at a time and wash with clean water on cotton so that the surface is not wet for long.

If it is varnish that has yellowed you will have to contact a pro.

When the canvas is clean you can varnish to freshen the colors.
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Old 12-19-2007, 09:20 PM   #4
John Reidy John Reidy is offline
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Thanks Julie and Allan,

The tear appears to be quite old, it is frayed, and the dirt appears to be just as old but the colr of the flesh tones remains beautiful so I suspect the dirt is superficial or laying on the varnish, so to speak.

I have received some information concerning restorers who are in the local area and I think I'll follow that route, or should I say recommend that route to my friend.

Thanks for the input.
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