I finally arrived home let evening with about $3 million worth of art in the back of the Suburban. Today we’ll unleash the power and smarts of the team at the lab, get everything “logged in” evaluated, tested, photographed and organized.
It was an astounding 3 week trip starting in SLC at the Roots Tech Conference, exhibiting as an author and connecting with major companies that want to partner with my new book coming out, “Collection Care Tips – Save Your Stuff” a multi-media $27.00 e-book with videos and other how-to info. There’s going to be a Family History industry wide “product launch” where we will give my book away for free plus other training to preserve and save items that are important to family histories. Its a great book for collectors too.
One of two murals in the historic tabernacle
Then we went to Montpelier, ID to save two murals (oil on canvas glued to the wall) by Minerva Teichert before demolition was begun in the LDS Tabernacle (a conference center) that housed them. One of the murals depicts Pioneers and the other is a very nice rendition of the First Vision of Joseph Smith. The appraisal of the artwork stupefied the administration: they are worth more than the building! An interesting factoid about them is that this was Minerva Teichert’s stomping grounds and her ward building is the town next door, Cokesville. We careful rolled the murals off the walls before massive updating and bringing the building up to code is begun. Among the work will be asbestos and lead materials removal, new electrical and other systems, maybe earthquake retrofitting? We are talking the murals back to our lab for art conservation treatments and then we will reinstall the murals when the building is ready in about 15 months. We will be the last ones to finish our work in the building after everyone else has completed their work. I shot some video that you’ll find interesting. Sign up for blog updates in the side bar so you are notified when I post it.
Removing the murals by Minerva Teichert for safety during building renovations.
On our way back to SLC, we stopped in Ogden Utah to prep a wall in the new LDS Odgen Temple for the installation of the returning mural that I removed from the building several years. Construction will be ready for the reinstallation in May. I love the new style of the temple. “They” are calling it a “Destination Temple.”
Then I spent a day and a half meeting with private clients in the SLC area. A highlight of the visits was with Anthony’s Antiques who gave us a $150,000 painting by Albert Beirstadt of the Wasatch Front painted in about 1868 to work on.
Before leaving Utah, I also met with the director of the Springville Museum of Art, Ms. Rita Wright and we discussed several of the Museum’s needs. We picked up several paintings, very important to the museum’s historical collection, by John Hafen that need some work before they are included in an up coming exhibition. More about these paintings later, also. Stay tuned.
So, now after loading two 9 foot murals rolled around a tube and several other paintings my Suburban is starting to fill up… but I’m not done yet…
Next stop was Las Vegas for Valentine’s Day. Keep in mind that for my sweet wife Diana, V-Day is a more important celebration that practically any other holiday. Well, I’m exaggerating a little bit but you get the idea. So, she met me in LV and we stayed at Caesar’s Palace and went to see Shania Twain in Concert. It was a great performance and she has definitely “Still got it” (the name of her show). It was good entertainment, really fun and romantic.
So, this next ‘event’ is a little contorted to explain… I’ll have to leave out some details. But last March (11 months ago) was my 60th birthday. My sweet wife thought it would be fun to do something different and adventurous although I wasn’t up for swimming the English Channel like Jack LaLane. So she signed me up for driving a Ferrari on a race track (after she made sure my life insurance was paid up). But the race track in the LA area “fizzled out on us” and though we got our money back, I was left with this very cool idea in my head… and NO 60th B-DAY gift!!!!! Well, low and behold, we are leaving Las Vegas to go to St. George and on the way out of town (going North) is a race track inviting and advertising for MY 60th B-DAY GIG!! So we pulled in “to get some info” but in reality, as soon as we pulled off the freeway I was ready to climb into a fast car. It wasn’t long till I had a helmet on and was sitting in a Ferrari Scuderia 510hp with 7 laps of “all I could be” ahead of me. I could go on and on… it was really fun (top speed 115 mph and 1min 3 sec fasted lap) but I’ll cut it off here.
I’m still smiling about my 60th birthday present…
Next stop was St. George, Utah to do emergency maintenance work on the murals within the St. George Temple which took about a week. They were painted by Joseph A.F. Everett in 1939 and are nice, Impressionistic paintings. I won’t into the history of the murals but they needed to have flaking stabilized and some inpainting of paint loss. More is planned in a few years. Here’s a photo off the internet of one of the walls.
Interestingly, I had several desperate phone calls on this trip involving disasters and insurance companies… all in Las Vegas! One of them was about an art gallery that was “blown up” by a gas company gas leak explosion! The other two were about massive water leaks that basically ruined the entire house from both water damage and mold. One of the water damage phone calls was able to get cooperation with their insurance company right away and had me go by the house and pick up, on my way home, a pile of paintings to be cleaned and brought back to “pre-existing conditions.”
So, there you have it, the short version of the last three week’s trip meeting with numerous private collectors, museums, church facilities and “saving the world of Mormon Art.”
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Art conservation questions? Call Scott Haskins 805 564 3438
Art appraisal questions? Call Richard Holgate 805 895 5121