Banksy Toronto

Over almost a year CSMO has been working with the Developer, Architect, Art Handlers and Installers to conserve and install the Banksy artwork.

Please, read the sorry by Jill Mahone in the Globe and Mail.

The conservation and installation efforts were filmed and photographed by Paul Casselman’s team and here is their video:

The Globe and Mail – Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 6:39PM EST

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Art conservator Alexander Gabov of CSMO, restores the Banksy piece, removing graffiti that was painted on after the original Banksy was created. Photo by Paul Casselman

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Assistant conservator of CSMO Emily Ricketts, conservation specialist, applies finishing touches to the Banksy installation in the PATH system at One York Street. Photo by Paul Casselman

The Banksy is going to be unveiled at One York Street this coming Monday February 13th at 11 am. Menkes will be doing a brief photo op to commemorate the opening of the piece to the public.

The artwork is very close to the train station in the PATH system.

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McCord / Totem urbain / Histoire en dentelles

The McCord Museum in Montreal is a public research and teaching museum dedicated to the preservation, study, diffusion, and appreciation of Canadian history. With 1.5 million artifacts it offers many opportunities to excite and impress.

Pierre Granche created this site specific original for the McCord in 1991-2. The glass base/table & copper alloy elements were permanently damaged and are under repair:

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More info about the artist, artwork, treatment and images by the McCord Museum, Montreal, Canada:

Totem urbain – Histoire en dentelles

 

Conservation of Pelham’s World War I Cenotaph

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Read Greg Furminger July 28 story in the Welland Tribune.

St. Mark’s Church Angel Painted Bas-relief

During St. Mark’s history, many alterations and additions have been made to the building. In 1887, the original pews were replaced with the current ones and in 1901 an organ was purchased which would eventually be replaced in 2005. [Patterson, William J.. Courage, Faith and Love: The History of St. Mark’s Church. 1993] One addition was made to the church, however, that was never recorded in any church documents and has always hung in situ within the living memory of everyone at St. Mark’s.

The mysterious “Angel” on the North chancel wall appeared sometime after 1897 since the relief does not appear in photographs taken on this date. No artist signatures or marks can be found on the relief.

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a few before treatment images 2014

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It appears that the sculpture was executed in three separate relief pieces elsewhere and then assembled and installed in St. Mark’s. The identification of two parallel joint lines that run from the top to bottom of the piece demonstrates thissections

During the process of the treatment, the bas-relief slowly unveiled its secrets. It became clear that the artwork was at least painted three different times. The following three different layers could be distinguished:

  • An original paint layer, extensively damaged, applied onto the roughened plaster support.
  • A second layer, applied using different colour shades, with varying thicknesses  (by renowned painter André Biéler’s 1951 restoration campaign).
  • An upper paint layer of over-paint, very roughly applied, with no colour mixing.

Numerous samples were taken and extensive analytical techniques were used to help assess the condition of the artwork and design the appropriate conservation treatment.

The last paint layer was removed revealing much of the original and some of André Biéler’s restoration efforts. Unfortunately most of the facial details and much of the original gold paint/gilding  had been permanently lost.

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during paint removal / January 2015

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After the over-paint removal all surfaces were varnished to consolidate the paint layers and substrate and Lascaux acrylic paints and 24K gold were used to complete the conservation treatment.

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Throughout the project CSMO used UV, IR and visible light photography to record the treatment and monitor the progress.

The completed restoration was reveled during an open house on April 25, 2015. It was an opportunity to share ownership of the historic St. Mark’s building, the once again magnificent Angel and setting of the lovely little village of Barriefield.

few after treatment images

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CSMO is grateful to Retired Brigadier General  William J. Patterson, Professor Pierre DuPrey, Father Haynes Q. Hubbard and the very supportive community.

The restoration was covered by CKWS newswatch’s Darryn Davis:

St. mark’s mural being restored in Barriefield

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

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February 02, 2015 06:06 pm

  1. MARK’S CHURCH IN BARRIEFIELD DATES BACK TO 1844.
  2. MARK’S CHURCH IN BARRIEFIELD DATES BACK TO 1844. AND INSIDE THE OLD LIMESTONE CHURCH IS A PAINTED IMAGE KNOWN AS “THE ANGEL.” IT’S IN THE PROCESS OF BEING RESTORED. BUT AS NEWSWATCH’S DARRYN DAVIS FOUND OUT, THE HISTORY OF THE PIECE IS A MODERN-DAY MYSTERY.

ART CONSERVATOR ALEX GABOV AND HIS TEAM SPENT MONTHS ANALYZING THIS PIECE CALLED “THE ANGEL” BEFORE RESTORATION WORK COULD BEGIN. THEY USED INFRARED PHOTOGRAPHY AND LOOKED AT PAINT SAMPLES UNDER THE MICROSCOPE.

“WE DISCOVERED THAT WE’RE DEALING WITH 3 LAYERS OF PAINT. SO THE ORIGINAL PAINT. THE LATER ON APPLIED IN 1951 BY ANDRE BIELER ”

THEY’VE BEEN ABLE TO SAVE THE ORIGINAL PAINT AND THE WORK DONE BY BIELER IN 1951 — WHILE GETTING RID A THIRD COAT OF HOUSEHOLD PAINT FROM IN THE 1970′S OR 80′S.

BILL PATTERSON’S FAMILY TIES TO ST. MARK’S ANGLICAN CHURCH DATE BACK SEVERAL GENERATIONS.
HE’S WRITTEN A BOOK ABOUT THE CHURCH AND ITS HISTORY. BUT “THE ANGEL” IS A RIDDLE HE STRUGGLES TO UNLOCK. THEY DON’T KNOW THE NAME OF THE ARTIST OR WHEN IT WAS PLACED IN THE CHURCH.
PATTERSON BELIEVES THE 4 BY 3 METRE RELIEF WAS COMMISSIONED BY EDWARD BARKER PENSE — THE GRANDSON OF THE FOUNDER OF THE WHIG STANDARD. PENSE PAID FOR THE ADDITION TO THE CHURCH IN 1897 WHERE THE RELIEF IS LOCATED.

“I HAVE A SORT OF FUNNY IDEA THAT THE ANGEL IS SUPPOSED TO REPRESENT HIS WIFE WHO DIED IN 1897, WELL MAYBE I’M WRONG. ”

PATTERSON HOPES TO FIND CLUES IN PENSE’S PAPERS AT QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY. THE ONE THING EVERYONE CAN AGREE ON IS THE RELIEF IS UNIQUE TO THE AREA.

“I DON’T THINK WE HAVE ANYTHING QUITE LIKE IT ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WHOLE ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF ONTARIO AND YOU’D GO PRETTY FAR TO FIND SOMETHING COMPARABLE IN TORONTO OR MONTREAL.”

” ADDING TO THE MYSTERY OF THE ANGEL, DU PREY SAYS HE DOESN’T BELIEVE THE PAINTED BAR RELIEF WAS MANUFACTURED IN THE IMMEDIATE AREA. THAT’S FURTHER CONFIRMED BY THE WORK DONE BY ALEXANDER GABOV.”

THE STUCCO RELIEF IS DONE IN THREE SECTIONS.

“THESE SECTIONS WERE CAST SOMEWHERE ELSE AND SCULPTED, PERHAPS FREE SCULPTED. BUT I THINK THAT IT QUITE LIKELY THAT THEY WERE CAST AND THEN FINISHED WITH PLASTER.”

AND WHILE COMPLETION OF THE RESTORATION IS ONLY WEEKS AWAY, ONGOING RESEARCH TO SOLVE THE MYSTERY OF ST. MARK’S ANGEL CONTINUES. DARRYN DAVIS CKWS NEWSWATCH KINGSTON.

 

Masaryk Memorial / Crucified Again

“Since 1917 Communists Annihilated 62 Million People” bronze plaque at Masaryktown Park, Toronto.

Josef Randa (1933-2005) sculpture Crucified Again has stood in this beautiful Toronto park since 1989, surrounded by landscaped trees, bushes, and flowers. Tall trees stand behind the monument, while a pathway in front of the monument leads to an open grassed field.

The fiberglass / resin figure and cast stone base showed many areas of loss and surface cracking.

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The monument was restored over two months.

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after treatment

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CSMO is grateful to I. Ječmenova, F. Ječmen, the Masaryk Memorial Institute and the Czech Canadian Community.

Henry Moore / A Wash and Set for The Archer

Contributed by Christopher Jones on the Toronto Live With Culture Blog

08/06/2014

http://www.livewithculture.ca/art/a-wash-and-set-for-the-archer/

Today on Nathan Phillips Square I ran into Alex Gabov, above, the conservator charged with restoring Henry Moore’s iconic sculpture, The Archer, and Oscar Nemon’s imposing statue of Sir Winston Churchill, around the corner in the north-west quadrant of the square.

Gabov has been professionally cleaning and conserving bronzes in the City’s public art collection since 2000. He detailed how the statues are cleaned and then gently heated with propane to a very high temperature so wax can be applied and hand-rubbed into the surface.

Gabov clearly has a deep love for his work and for the sculptures he conserves. “I’ve touched every square centimeter of this bronze,” he told me proudly. “I feel as if it’s my own.”

“A tourist who saw me working on it once asked me if I was the artist and I paused for a second, debating whether or not to take credit for Henry Moore’s great work,” he laughs.

This is the third time Gabov has worked on The Archer, which was unveiled in front of City Hall in 1966. It is the subject of Murray McLaughlin’s 1975 hit song, “Down By the Henry Moore.” Gabov says The Archer, also titled Three Way Piece No. 2,  should be good for another five years or so and will certainly be looking its best for the 2015 Pan American Games.

Installing the Mirage Bird by E. Frink

McMaster Museum of Art acquired Mirage Bird around 1993, displaying and storing the sculpture indoors.  The museum wished to move the aluminum sculpture outdoors by the end of November 2013, in keeping with the artist’s original intent.  In consultation with CSMO, McMaster Museum of Art decided to anchor the sculpture to an elevated concrete pad, which was cast in place as per CSMO’s specifications.

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The cast aluminum sculpture varies in thickness, with a minimum depth of 3 cm.

The sculpture is in excellent condition and during XRF testing by our friend H.F. (Gus) Shurvell @ Art Conservation Program, Queen’s University the metal was determined to be an aluminum alloy from the 6000 series (99.8% aluminum), common in foundry aluminum castings.

Due to the nature of the aluminum sculpture, it was important that the sculpture’s outer surface was protected from the elements prior to its relocation outdoors and that the sculpture was well anchored.

High density foam washers and stainless steel nuts were used to secure the sculpture’s base down (Fig.2.5).  The washers ensure there is no contact between the SS steel bolts and the aluminum artwork.

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The concrete footing was realized by Bravo Cement Contracting Inc. and the sculpture was installed by CSMO, assisted by sculptor, Matt Walker and the wonderful hosts.

Here are few images that our generous host and senior curator at the museum Ihor Holubizky took: Frink treatment_3128csfccB Frink install_3175csfccFrink install_3213csfcc

You can read more about the project and see more images on the McMaster Museum of Art Blog

A bit more about the sculptor: Elisabeth Frink (1930-1993) was born in Suffolk, England and studied under British sculptor Bernard Meadows at the Chelsea School of Art.[1]  Though she is internationally recognized for her monumental sculptures in both Britain and overseas, she was also a printmaker and produced etchings and lithographs for illustrated books.  In 1963, Frink’s bird-like sculptures first appeared in the cult science fiction film The Damned. [2]  The long-legged creatures from this series were further simplified over time, creating the Mirage sculptures: wingless, towering, amorphous creatures.  These bird-like sculptures were produced until 1969, constructing moulds of plaster over an iron framework.

Sir John A Macdonald

A year ago just before the birthday ceremony of the First Prime Minister of Canada the city woke up with a vandalized sculpture of the prominent Kingstonian. The well intended initial attempts by a non-conservation firm to remove the graffiti was only partly successful and in fact led to some damage to the granite, plaque and the lower portions of the bronze statue.

CSM_0597nc The Monument Before Treatment

The white writing was partially removed for the ceremony and CSMO was responsible for the further cleaning and conservation treatment of the monument. The sub zero temperatures led to the use of non aqueous organic poultice solutions to remove all surface traces of graffiti.

CSM_0624 The Bronze Sculpture Before Treatment

CSM_0648 Slow and Careful Removal of Surface Graffiti

CSM_0677 The Bronze Sculpture After Surface Graffiti Removal

Even though to most observers the graffiti was gone the pores of the bronze, deep within the patina showed microscopic remnants of the the red and white graffiti.

CSM_0726 Detail of Bronze After Surface Graffiti Removal

20130112_092428437 Bronze Surface 100X Magnification (After Surface Graffiti Removal)

A closer examination relieved that the patina and protective wax coatings applied in 2003 are mostly failing exposing active copper corrosion and that the red paint has left a microscopic residue not only in the bronze but also in the granite pores.

20130112_092838298 Granite 100X Magnification (After Surface Graffiti Removal)

CSMO returned in the summer to finish the graffiti removal, complete cleaning of the bronze and granite, apply a protective wax coating to the bronze, an anti-graffiti coating to the granite stones, replace pointing and high-light the engraved lettering on the front of the statue.

A few images of the summer treatment:

CSM_5283_GL_June_2013 Bronze Before Treatment

P1120759 Removal of Graffiti and Cleaning

P1120781 2 Application of Protective Coatings

CSM_5305_GL_June_2013 During Treatment

CSM_5317_GL_June_2013 After Treatment (Bronze)

CSM_0007 During Treatment (Highlighting of Inscription)

The monument is now in stable condition and ready for the fast approaching bicentennial commemoration.

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War memorial refurbished in time for Remembrance Day

Bill Beswetherick, St. Lawrence News

News -The town of Gananoque has refurbished its war memorial just in time for Remembrance Day, 2013. The memorial was funded by donations from local citizens and was dedicated in December 1920, just after the end of the First World War. It lists the names of 58 local men who lost their lives during the war. The names of 25 men who lost their lives during the Second World War were added in 1946.
The memorial underwent a major renovation in 2005 to restore the bronze statue and the bronze plaques that had deteriorated considerably during the preceding 85 years. In 2006 the name of Corporal Randy Payne, who was killed in Afghanistan in April of that year was added to the memorial.

Restorer Alexander Gabov works on one of the bronze plaques on the Gananoque war memorial as part of recent restoration efforts.

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The Gananoque war memorial was one of the first such memorials to be erected after the Great War that ended with the armistice of Nov. 11, 1918. The bronze statue shows a soldier with his elbow resting on his rifle. In his left hand he holds the piece of paper that announced the end of a war which claimed the lives of over 66,000 Canadians, including 58 from the Gananoque area. Among the local war dead were three sets of brothers, a soldier age 15, and a father of 11 children.
The memorial also contains the name of Bombardier Millard Wright who was killed during the final days of the First World War. The name of his brother, Ellis, who was killed in France in 1944, is inscribed on the Second World War section of the memorial.
In 2007 a cairn was erected near the memorial. It commemorates Private John Henry (Harry) Brown of Gananoque who posthumously was awarded the Victoria Cross in
August 1917. He died of severe injuries that he had received while delivering a crucial message through a German artillery barrage.
All citizens are reminded of Poppy Day which occurs in Gananoque Nov. 2. Please wear a poppy in remembrance of the more than 110,000 Canadians who have died in wars.
Bill Beswetherick is the secretary/treasurer of the Gananoque Legion Branch 92.

War memorial refurbished in time for Remembrance Day

Story re-posted with permission from Bill Beswetherick.

Bill and Geraldine’s new book “Gananoque Remembers” is out! They offer it as a tribute to those who gave their lives in the cause of freedom.

ISBN 978-0-9736469-1-7

Lower Burial Ground in Kingston Canada

The Lower Burial Ground was Kingston’s original burial ground first used in 1783. Over the past three months CSMO has been conserving and documenting the remaining 47 stones on the burial grounds in St. Paul’s church yard.

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RTI Capture at LBG / image CSMO

Aspects of the project were covered by  the Whig-Standar, CKWS TV and CBC radio:

Project identifies centuries-old graves

By Michael Lea, Kingston Whig-Standard

Friday, August 23, 2013 6:18:17 EDT PM

KINGSTON – The grave marker is a blank piece of stone, about one metre by two metres in size.

To the naked eye, its face is barren of any discernible features. If there had, indeed, been writing on it, the wind and the rain of two centuries had long since swept it away.

But 21st-century technology is restoring the identity of the grave’s occupant.

World-renowned conservator Alex Gabov will be spending a couple of weeks using a technique called reflectance transformation imaging to digitally restore the writing on dozens of headstones and grave markers on the grounds of St. Paul’s Anglican Church at the corner of Queen and Montreal streets.

It is the oldest consecrated Protestant cemetery west of Montreal. It was first laid out by Royal Engineers in 1783 to prepare for the influx of Loyalists.

The first people buried there, in 1785, were a couple of soldiers and a child. It served as the burial site for St. George’s Cathedral before the construction of St. Paul’s church.

The project is an effort of the Lower Burial Ground Restoration Society, which has spent the past five years trying to preserve and restore the urban cemetery.

Marianne Thompson, the society’s secretary-treasurer, said the work had a dramatic beginning in 2008.

“It started when we had that truck crash into our wall.”

An accident had damaged the church’s 1799 Rocheleau stone wall on Montreal Street and, although the wall was repaired, it began crumbling away again.

The rector at the time suggested a group be formed to restore the wall, so Thompson’s husband, Doug, formed the non-profit society and was named its president.

He called in “the heavyweights with interest in historical preservation and conservation,” said Marianne Thompson. Included in the membership were Peter Gower, Sue Bazely, Ed Grenda, John Grenville and Brian Osborne.

“We got them all.”

The project moved from simply restoring the wall to conserving all the graves in the plot, she said.

“It is too important to let that go. All the early citizens of Kingston were buried there, and so it is an important memorial to these founders of Kingston. It is also a unique type of cemetery. You won’t find anything else like that in an urban setting,” she explained.

They began with the Forsythe monument.

“The bishop at the time called it the most expensive doghouse in Kingston,” she laughed.

They also took on the Stuart Lair, burial site of Rev. John Stuart and his 11 family members.

“We’ve had a number of projects over the years and bit by bit we’re getting there.”

Gabov’s reflectance transformation imaging technique was developed about 12 years ago by a worker at Hewlett Packard.

He first used it in a pilot project at Cataraqui Cemetery.

A stationary camera is placed above the stone to be photographed, then a flash is circled around the grave, producing multiple images.

“In the computer software, we bring all the images (together),” explained Gabov. “It creates a 2-D representation of the 3-D surface. What it gives you is the ability to look at that surface and manipulate it in the computer, enhance it and actually see what the writing is.”

The large stone that was Gabov’s current focus was a typical example of the challenge he faced. But his laptop produced a graphic image of what the eye couldn’t see.

The grave held Col. F.S. Tidy, the commanding officer of the 24th Regiment of Foot. He had died in 1835.

“So once we have that information, we actually have a digital surrogate,” he said. “For us as conservators, that’s important because we document the condition. That will remain on record.”

The technique is very time-consuming but a lot cheaper than using 3-D laser scanning, which would require much more sophisticated equipment and a more powerful computer to handle the huge amount of data produced.

“If you have a camera and a flash, you can do it.”

Gabov also plans to make a list of what needs to be done to conserve the stones for future generations.

The funding for the restoration project at the cemetery has come from the Community Foundation and two private donors.

Story by Michael Lea

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RTI Capture at LBG / image CSMO

Followed by a TV spot by Darryn Davis of the CKWS Newswatch Kingston

HEADSTONES

KINGSTON’S LOWER BURIAL GROUND MAY BE ONE OF THE LIMESTONE CITY’S LEAST APPRECIATED BUT MOST IMPORTANT HISTORIC SITES.

– Newswatch Newsroom
8/27/2013

KINGSTON’S LOWER BURIAL GROUND MAY BE ONE OF THE LIMESTONE CITY’S LEAST APPRECIATED BUT MOST IMPORTANT HISTORIC SITES.

OVER THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS THE LOWER BURIAL GROUND SOCIETY HAS SPEARHEADED A NUMBER OF PROJECTS AT THE SITE ON THE CORNER QUEEN AND MONTREAL STREETS.

THE GROUP IS NOW IN THE PROCESS OF RESTORING AND PRESERVING THE MANY HEADSTONES ON THE PROPERTY THAT DATE BACK TO THE 18TH AND 19TH CENTURIES.

NEWSWATCH’S DARRYN DAVIS HAS MORE….

These photo’s won’t be seen on the cover of Time magazine but that doesn’t make Alex Gabov’s work any less exciting.

Gabov has been recruited by the Lower Burial Ground Society to rediscover the inscriptions that have been lost due to weathering and time on the numerous headstones.

Work that wouldn’t be possible if not for the efforts of the not for profit Lower Burial Ground Society.

John Grenville/ Pres. Lower Burial Ground Society

“This is one of the earliest if not the earliest Anglican or protestant graveyards in Ontario. ”

Through a series of photographs and computer software Gabov and his team are able to recover parts of history that have been lost over the centuries.

But before this, a lot of preparation took place , from cleaning the headstones and monuments to looking at old plans of the cemetery grounds.

Alexander Gabov/ Art Conservator

“we have already found one or two stones which were never recorded at least not on the plans.”

“To the naked eye this old headstone is nothing more than a blank slate, but thanks to the work of Alex Gabov and his team we now know this is the final resting place of Colonel F.S. Tidy who died in 1835 at the age of sixty.” Using the software the inscription on the headstone becomes clear and easy to read.

Gabov is also documenting the current state of the headstones and creating a to do list for the Lower Burial ground society.

Alex Gabov

“An outline for the society, the need of conservation and also the sequence that they have to follow in order to properly preserve the monuments.”

Gabov says the final report will be ready later this fall.

Story by Darryn Davis CKWS Newswatch Kingston.

follow the link to watch the story:

http://www.ckwstv.com/news/kingston/story.aspx?ID=2031574

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RTI Capture at LBG / image CSMO

And finally the Sep 5 2013 piece by the charismatic JC Kenny on CBC radio. The podcast is available for download at iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/ontario-morning-from-cbc-radio/id447055175

We are in the final stages of completing this lengthily conservation and full documentation survey.