Albert Bierstadt | Hudson River School Paintings | Art Conservation

Three Albert Bierstadt paintings selected for Bank of America Art Conservation Project

Chelsea DeLay | July 22nd, 2013 | Posted in News

It’s not exactly winning the lottery, but it’s definitely close—if not better! The New Bedford Free Public Library was just announced as a successful applicant to the Bank of America’s Art Conservation Project.  So what does this mean for the library’s collection of artwork? Well, it means that the futures of three paintings by Hudson River School artist Albert Bierstadt are looking pretty bright! $39,000 has been donated by Bank of America to repair and restore these three masterpieces, which have not been touched by restoration experts since the 1960s.  Various condition issues have developed in each painting during the past few decades: Mr. Sir Donald has a three-foot tear in tear on the right side that is in need of stabilizing, while the varnishes applied to Sunset on the Platte River and Sunset Light have yellowed over time, causing visible discoloration.  These three works are excellent examples of not only the Hudson River School style of painting, but also of Albert Bierstadt’s artistic approach, seen in the grandiose landscapes and themes of westward expansion. Curator Janice Hodson emphasized the priceless significance of these Bierstadt paintings, stating, “It is remarkable that a municipal library has three of them.”  It will be exciting to witness the before- and after-transformation of these paintings after they undergo treatment—it will underscore the importance of conservation in prolonging the life of important American paintings.  We can’t wait to see the end results!

 

“Sunset on the Platte River,” painted by Albert Bierstadt circa 1875, is slated for restoration.  Courtesy of New Bedford Free Public Library

Sunset on the Platte River, painted by Albert Bierstadt circa 1875, is slated for restoration.
Courtesy of New Bedford Free Public Library

Courtesy of the New Bedford Free Public Library The New Bedford Free Public Library plans to restore Albert Bierstadt's Mt. Sir Donald.

The New Bedford Free Public Library plans to restore Albert Bierstadt’s Mt. Sir Donald Courtesy of New Bedford Free Public Library.

Chelsea DeLay is a Researcher at Questroyal Fine Art. Chelsea earned her MA in art business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York, and her BA in art history and classical studies. Her interest in American paintings first began while working at an auction house on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and has multiplied exponentially since joining the Questroyal team.