Restoration Retrospective: Giving New Life to Our Art

In May of 2011, The Jones Library was awarded $15,000 from the Town of Amherst's Community Preservation Act Committee to restore several paintings in its Fine Arts Collection. Work began on the project in January 2012. Thus far, six paintings and four frames have been conserved as part of this project.

The Jones Library would like to thank conservators Joseph Matteis, William Myers, Susan Holbrook, and Mark Hawes for the skilled and dedicated work they did to give new life to these paintings.

On November 22, 2015, we held an event to highlight the conservation projects. A video of the lectures is available here.

Below are some pictures from the restoration process. All the newly conserved paintings are on display in Library for the public to enjoy.
Banks of the Marne by Paul Peraire
Photographs courtesy of Joseph Matteis.
Frame for Red Riding Hood by John G. Brown
Photographs courtesy of William Myers.
Portrait of Robert Frost by A. Allyn Bishop
Photographs courtesy of Joseph Matteis.
Arabs Mounted in Battle by Paul Dominique Philippoteaux

The photograph below shows the painting during the cleaning process. The upper lefthand corner of the painting has been cleaned and shows a marked color contrast when compared with the rest of the painting. Photograph courtesy of Joseph Matteis.

"Arabs Mounted in Battle" during the cleaning process
Near Central Park by Paul Cornoyer
Photographs courtesy of Joseph Matteis.
On Guard by Cesare Auguste Detti
Photographs courtesy of Joseph Matteis.
Sur L'Aube by Jan van Chelminski
Photographs courtesy of Joseph Matteis.
Past Restoration Projects
Frame for Portrait of an English Nobleman by Sir William Beechey

This frame was conserved in 2010-2011 by Chief Preparator William Myers and his students at the Smith College Museum of Art who donated their time and expertise to repair and conserve the ornate frame of "The English Lord" oil painting that greets visitors to the library. The Friends of the Jones Library System funded the conservation materials needed to clean the frame, create replacements for missing ornamentation, and repaint and polish the frame to a golden luster. It took over a year to bring the painting's frame back to its former glory and back to the hallway where it has been on display since 1928. Photographs below show the frame prior to conservation and are courtesy of William Myers.

Detail showing a corner of the Beechey frame before treatment
Detail of Beechey frame before restoration