Adopt a Painting/First Discovery

Adopt a Painting

In May 2012, Ms. Carol Pollock, executive director of Hoyt Sherman Place, requested an examination and condition review of 49 paintings from their collection. Her goal was to raise the required treatment funds from members of the Women's Club, the Board of Directors, and community supporters through an Adopt a Painting program.

Carol Pollock

“Adopt a Painting” programs normally don't work, as the amount of time required to establish a working program is considerable and often support funds are less than generous. Hoyt Sherman's undertaking had the opposite result. Due to Carol's drive and enthusiasm, coupled with internal and external community support, the program was a complete success. From 2012 to 2015, a total of 37 paintings were sent to my studio for treatment, including works by Thomas Moran, Edwin Lord Weeks, Bruce Crain, Frederick Carl Frieseke, William Wendt, Elihu Vedder, and John William Schofield.

Thomas Moran "Venetian Scene" 1905
Hoyt Sherman Place
Des Moines, Iowa

John William Schofield "Approaching Storm" 1922
Hoyt Sherman Place
Des Moines, Iowa

Edwin Lord Weeks "Packing the Caravan" 1897
Hoyt Sherman Place
Des Moines, Iowa

Sadly, Carol Pollock passed away in May 2015. Her successor, Mr. Robert Warren, continued Carol's conservation program and brought a similar commitment to the preservation of the collection. Since 2015, an additional 16 paintings were sent to my studio for treatment, including Robert Reid's La Cigale and Des Moines's finest, large-scale Old Master painting, The Repentant Magdalene.

Robert Warren

Robert Reid "La Cigale" 1897
Hoyt Sherman Place
Des Moines, Iowa

Anon. "The Repentant Magdalene" ca. 1680
Hoyt Sherman Place
Des Moines, Iowa

First Discovery

On February 12, 2016, Robert was casually looking for several boxes of Civil War flags and a staff member mentioned that there was a “bunch of junk” stored in a little-used storeroom under the auditorium's second-floor balcony. For Hoyt Sherman Place this was to become their “King Tut moment.” While looking for the boxes, Robert noticed a painting wedged between a table and the storeroom's plaster-and-lath wall. (6)

Storeroom Door


At the suggestion of Ms. Lorna Truck, Hoyt Sherman Place Foundation board member and the Art and Artifacts Committee chair, the painting was moved to an adjacent room, the former servant's quarters. In this light, Robert could easily see this was something special. He had just discovered what would prove to be a 420-year-old early Baroque panel painting. The Old Master painting had been “lost in the shuffle” for decades. This was the first of three discoveries related to the painting. (7)

Discovered Painting

The discovery certainly begged other questions: where did the painting come from and what was the subject matter? These questions will be examined on the following page.

Page 4--Provenance

Page 1--Introduction,   Page 2--History of Hoyt Sherman Place,   Page 3--Adopt a Painting/First Discovery,
Page 4--Provenance,  Page 5--Examination,   Page 6--Treatment,   Page 7--The Letters/Second Discovery,
Page 8--Attribution/Third Discovery
Page 9--Ut pictura poesis, Page 10--Final Thoughts/PBS Video


6. Below photos courtesy of Ms. Danielle Euer.
7. Below photo courtesy of DSM Magazine, Des Moines, Iowa.



Barry Bauman Conservation
Contact: Mr. Barry Bauman
1122 N. Jackson Ave., River Forest, IL. 60305
Ph.(708)771-0382  Fax.(708)771-1532