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The Conservation Center
Conserving Art Coast to Coast
 February 2014 Newsletter
Passion. Love. Polar Vortex (Part Deux). February's got it all--and in the spirit of Valentine's Day, The Conservation Center is excited to announce the completion of the Lincoln "Courting Couch" restoration project for The Springfield Art Association! We'll take you behind the scenes to learn more about the ins and outs of this amorous loveseat that Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln spent ample time on during their courtship. Additionally, we invite you to delve into the world of Victorian artist and missionary Lilias Trotter; plus uncover a mysterious Rembrandt-esque painting complete with an "underpainting." Did we pique your curiosity? Read on...
 
 
Lincoln's Loveseat: Restoring a Historical "Courting Couch"

Love is in the air with Valentine's Day this month, and we couldn't think of a more suitable time to finish restoring Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln's "Courting Couch" for The Springfield Art Association's collection in Springfield, Illinois. Romantic sparks flew between the 16th U.S. president and his future First Lady, Mary Todd, right on this horsehair-upholstered sofa built in the 1830s. The Conservation Center revived an 180-year old loveseat and along the process, uncovered a lost piece of history hidden in the arm cavity.

Lincoln "Courting Couch" Gains National Attention + Unveiling Celebration at The Springfield Art Association

The Lincoln "Courting Couch" restoration project reached the level of national acclaim and caught the attention of New York Times's Antiques writer Eve Kahn--who profiled the loveseat in her February 7 column for the Fine Arts section of the newspaper. Both The Conservation Center and The Springfield Art Association were thrilled to receive this recognition! And, in celebration of the project's completion, The Springfield Art Association threw a grand unveiling soiree on February 11--one day prior to Lincoln's birthday--with more than 150 guests in attendance.

The Discovery of Lilias Trotter's Lost Journals

In the 1890's, an English woman named Lilias Trotter sketched and wrote entries in her journals nearly every day for the last 40 years of her life. These small masterpieces documented her time spent in North Africa on missionary work. Three of those journals were recently discovered in London and have been restored and digitally archived by The Conservation Center for future generations. Provided is a narrative of Trotter's life and the challenge of tracking down these journals and sketchbooks as told by her biographer, Miriam Rockness.

Uncovering a Signature, Bringing an Artist to Light
Last spring, a rather enigmatic painting titled
Portrait of a Man was brought to The Conservation Center in need of restoration. The owner, Andy Boyden, had purchased the piece from an estate sale while traveling in Liverpool, England. "I was attracted to it because it had the feel of an Old Masters painting. I loved the eyes, the sitting, the intense expression of this gentleman, and as an admirer of the works of Rembrandt van Rijn, I wanted to find out more about it."


More News from The Conservation Center

An Evening on Disaster Preparedness With The American Red Cross Tiffany Circle

From 1997 to 1998, The Conservation Center restored an important mural titled Outstanding American Women or Women's Contribution to American Progress (1938-1940) by Edward Millman. Housed at the Lucy Flower Career Academy High School in the West side of Chicago, this mural spans 10 scenes--with one of them depicting Clara Barton (1821-1912), founder of The American Red Cross (pictured). 

Now, more than 15 years after the mural treatment, The Conservation Center will be joining efforts with The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago's Tiffany Circle
 to host an informative session on preparedness. Tiffany Circle members and guests will learn from both organizations on how to keep the most important facets of their life--family, home, art, or heirloom--safe from the danger of disaster. The Tiffany Circle is The Red Cross' international society of women leaders and philanthropists, and we cordially welcome them for a memorable evening at The Center on February 24.  

Hello New York City! The Conservation Center to Attend 
The Armory Show March 6-8

The Conservation Center is excited to visit our friends in the Big Apple coming up next month. We will be present for The Armory Show
--one of the most important international contemporary and modern art fairs in the country--from March 6-8. If you'd like to learn more about our services and make an appointment for us to stop by your booth or business, please contact: Chai Lee, VP of Marketing and Communications. We look forward to seeing you!
The Conservation Center is celebrating its 30th anniversary--watch our company video!


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