Conservator Donates Services to Restore Painting;
Work Reveals Sunlight Under Decades of Grime
Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest, Illinois---Spring 2006
           
Conservator Barry Bauman thrives on uncovering the original work of an artist, layer-by-layer. Recently, he has focused his meticulous cleaning on a landscape painted by Oak Park native Louis Hovey Sharp (1875-1946) that belongs to the Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest. His efforts have revealed the light-filled landscape of Point Lobos, Calif., frequented by artists for its breathtaking meeting of land and water.
           
Bauman, a River Forest resident, is donating his services. After selling the firm he founded, the Chicago Conservation Center, Bauman decided to offer complimentary painting conservation services exclusively to museums and non profits. In the past two years, he has assisted more than 60 institutions throughout the country, charging only for his materials.
           
"Since opening Barry Bauman Conservation, I have had an opportunity to work on many fine historical paintings," he said. "To date, more than 260 have received treatment at no charge including works by Van Dyck, Magnasco, ter Borch, Bouguereau, Twachtman, Gifford, Robinson, Tanner and John Singer Sargent, arguably America's finest portrait artist." His clients include the Philbrook Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the State Historical Society of Iowa, the Phoenix Art Museum, the State Historical society of Wisconsin, and the Indiana State Museum.
           
Bauman served as Associate Conservator of Paintings for the Art Institute of Chicago before establishing the Chicago Conservation Center and is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation. His earlier firm cleaned and restored two WPA murals that once hung in Oak Park's Stevenson Playground recreation center and are now on display at the Historical Society.
           

Louis H. Sharp "Point Lobos, California" ca. 1920
H. 25" X W. 30" Before Treatment

Detail
During Cleaning
           
The Historical Society is delighted that Bauman is cleaning and conserving the Sharp painting, which hung in the Research Center. Donated in 1970 by the Cotsworth family, the 25" X 30" oil painting was masked by accumulation of grime and/or smoke that made the scene appear to be dark and somber. Sharp was a notable landscape painter who lived in Pasadena, Calif.; Taos, N.M.: and the Austrian Tyrol.
           
"We have so many wonderful treasures in our collection that require our care in perpetuity--photos, artifacts, maps, and artwork like this oil painting," said Historical Society Executive Director Frank Lipo. "Our goal is to be good stewards of our collection and that can be costly and require special expertise that we do not have on staff or among our volunteers. We are extremely grateful for Mr. Bauman's generosity and skill."
           
           


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Barry Bauman Conservation
Contact: Mr. Barry Bauman
1122 N. Jackson Ave., River Forest, IL. 60305
Ph.(708)771-0382  Fax.(708)771-1532
e-mail:barrybbc7@yahoo.com