Editors' Note:

The following letters relate to the painting's cleaning. For visual purposes, we have positioned the treatment images according to the text.
                               
                               

Cleaning
                               
                             
 

 
                               
 

  Springfield, March 20th, 2011

 
                               
  My dear Sir:  
                               
  I am greatly disappointed, having only received one letter from you since I last communicated six months ago. After your promise of writing me, I can scarcely understand it. I was unable to sleep last night. I hope tomorrow will bring a letter from you. I remain. (44)  
                               
                               
                               
                               
 

ML

 
                               
                               
                               
                               
 

 

 

 

3/25/11

River Forest, Illinois

Dear Mary Lincoln,

 
                               
 

I apologize for not corresponding sooner. I was in New Zealand for over two months and my plan was to start the work when I returned March 1.

I am pleased to inform you the cleaning is proceeding well. I have been able to remove the polyurethane without injury to the paint layer. Please understand, and do not be alarmed, but the surface has been severely abraded during past restorations. I enclose two details.

 
                               
 

Lower Left Corner
After Cleaning

Chair/Right Edge
After Cleaning

 
   
  Despite the restorer's words referencing "original intent," both arms were completely repainted.  
                               
 

Proper Right Arm During Cleaning
 
                               
 

Proper Left Arm During Cleaning

 
                               
  Also, the previous restoration failed to remove a discolored oil film that blanketed the surface. I enclose details of the dress fringe and the flesh area above the décolletage during the removal of this residual film. As you can see, your original flesh tones have been reinstated.  
                               
 

Dress Fringe
During Cleaning

 

Décolletage Area
During Cleaning

 
   
 

Only the facial areas remain. For your sake, I hope for the best.

Sincerely,

Barry

 
                               
                               
                               
                               
 

 
                               
 

Springfield, April 12, 2011 

 
                               
  My dear Barry Bauman:  
                               
 

Your letters are always so welcomely received, that although they come, at such distant intervals, yet so soon as I read them, my first thought, is to reply immediately--Although, it has been several weeks, since I last heard from you. Please keep me informed on your progress. Do not wait an instant to correspond. (45)

With kind remembrances to your family, believe me very respectfully & gratefully. (46)

 
                               
                               
                               
  Mrs. Abraham Lincoln  
                               
                               
                               
                               
 






4/15/11

River Forest, Illinois


Dear Mrs. Lincoln,

 
                               
 

I'm sorry to write you on this day, being the saddest anniversary you have, although, as you are now reunited with your beloved, you enjoy everlasting peace and comfort.

Except for two areas, the cleaning has been completed--there is good and bad news. The good news is, the original paint layer has held up well during the cleaning process. The bad news is, the cleaning has not returned the painting to its former 1929 appearance. I was so hoping to relate better findings. Enclosed are images of the face before, during, and after cleaning.

 
                               
 

Face
Before Treatment

Face
During Cleaning
 
                               
 

Face
During Cleaning

Face
After Cleaning
 
                               
 

Removal of the overpaint has reinstated a softer appearance to the portrait and has reversed the image's stiff, wooden, caricature.

I have made two discomforting discoveries. Carpenter's signature and date, in the lower right corner, are not original; they are clearly resting on top of the old varnish. For the same reason, and please don't be angry, the brooch with your husband's image, is not original. It, too, is lying on top of the varnish.

I'm going to have to do some research work on these areas for Dr. Cornelius is coming to my studio on May 10 and I want to discuss the situation with him. He is not aware of my findings.

With the cleaning all but complete, I am beginning to sense the conspiratorial environment encircling the portrait.

 
                               
 

Best regards,

Barry Bauman

 
                               
                               
                               

 Page 11

 
                               
                               
                               
 

Notes

Page 1--Editors' Introduction

Page 2--You Must Not Fail Me

Page 3--An Artistic Conspiracy

Page 4--Principal Conspirator

Page 5--Co-Conspirator

Page 6--The Affidavit

Page 7--Unknowing Participants

Page 8--Accessories A, B, C, D

Page 9--Springfield

Page 10--Cleaning

Page 11--All That is Excellent

Page 12--Smoking Gun

Page 13--Judgment

Page 14--App./Acknowledgments

 
                               
                               
                               
 

Notes:

44. I am greatly...scarcely understand it. Turner. p. 442. Letter to Elizabeth Keckley. 10/13/1867. I was unable to sleep last night. Keckley. Kindle Location 2074.

45. Your letters...heard from you. Turner. p. 301. Letter to Elizabeth Blair Lee. 12/11/1865.

46. With kind remembrances...gratefully. Turner. p. 684. Letter to Jacob Bunn. 7/10/1879.

 
                               
                               

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Barry Bauman Conservation
Contact: Mr. Barry Bauman
1122 N. Jackson Ave., River Forest, IL. 60305
Ph.(708)771-0382  Fax.(708)771-1532
e-mail:barrybbc7@yahoo.com