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Barrow Art Gallery seeks funds for restoration

Members of the Barrow Art Gallery management committee, Peg Whitehouse, Jo Werner, Christy Lemp, Betsey Sio and Regina Middleton visited the West Lake Conservators lab in Mottville to view the preliminary restoration work on a severely damaged barrow painting.

Members of the Barrow Art Gallery management committee, Peg Whitehouse, Jo Werner, Christy Lemp, Betsey Sio and Regina Middleton visited the West Lake Conservators lab in Mottville to view the preliminary restoration work on a severely damaged barrow painting.

— 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.”

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