Dec 19, 2011 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
In the five years since the John D. Barrow Art Gallery acquired 34 original Barrow paintings from the Onondaga County Public Library, 12 of the 34 have been fully restored to their original condition.
This year, in commemoration of the five-year anniversary of the acquisition, the gallery has decided to have one of the most severely damaged paintings receive a complete treatment, and is in need of financial contributions to complete the project.
“This will be a costly, yet appropriate undertaking; but the management committee of the John D. Barrow Art Gallery’s first priority is their commitment to being stewards for the collection,” said gallery director Peg Whitehouse.
The Barrow Art Gallery, an independent not-for-profit institution attached to the Skneateles Library, is a collection of the works of renowned artist John D. Barrow, who donated the gallery to the community in 1900.
The latest, and neediest, Barrow painting to be restored is an untitled work from around 1880. It is a pastoral scene of cows grazing near the edge of Skaneateles Lake, surrounded by summer wildflowers and stately trees.
The painting has numerous issues that need to be addressed during its restoration. The canvas has multiple tears, a profusion of surface mold due to storage in an overly humid environment, and 140 years of dirt and grime build-up on the painting itself. The frame is also badly damaged and will be restored.
The renovation will be completed by West Lake Conservators of Mottville, and will cost several thousand dollars, Whitehouse said.
Members of the gallery’s management committee recently visited the studios of West Lake Conservators to get a preview of the preliminary painting renovation work.
“We are so pleased to be working with them,” Whitehouse said. “Their reputation is world-class, and we’ve had a wonderful relationship with them for over 35 years.”
The gallery, whose expenses are funded completely through private contributions, is in the midst of its annual fund drive. The goal is $8,000, and a part of the proceeds will be used for the current painting restoration project.
The cost of all the previous painting restorations have been underwritten from the gifts of individuals and organizations, grants received and the gallery’s general operating funds.
“The community has responded to the restoration needs of the collection and these specific paintings very generously, and we would like to encourage people to remember us in their year-end giving to help us preserve this piece of local history and culture,” Whitehouse said.
Donations can be sent to the Barrow Art Gallery at 49 East Genesee St. For more information see also the gallery’s website, barrowgallery.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.