Internet Release
February 19, 2007
A Treasure Restored for Presidents' Day
Just in time for Presidents Day, the Wisconsin Historical Society is pleased to share one of the latest treasures from the painting collection to be restored by renowned conservator Barry Bauman. Portrait of George Washington by Thomas Sully is not only an important American painting, it is also critical to the cultural development of Wisconsin because it was the first painting commissioned and collected by the Society in 1854. Since then, the painting's condition degraded due to the wear and tear of exhibition and the inevitable aging of the paint and varnish layers. But thanks to the generous donation of Bauman's time and skills, the Washington portrait, and many other Society paintings, have been returned to their original glory.

After Cleaning

After Treatment

Bauman notes that the restoration effort of the Washington portrait afforded him an opportunity to explore a work of art to a greater depth than usual. "Over the last three years, I have treated numerous paintings for the Wisconsin Historical Society, including John Singer Sargent's magnificent Portrait of General Lucius Fairchild, Robert Sully's Portrait of Chief Black Hawk, and a Portrait of Chief Oshkosh by Samuel Marsden Brookes. Conservators can be rewarded during their treatment work with the discovery of something hidden or unknown. This occurred during the treatment of Thomas Sully's Portrait of George Washington," said Bauman. To find out more about his discoveries, view his full case study detailing the historical context of Sully and Washington portraiture, the mysteries Bauman uncovered in the paint layers, and the extensive measures he took to restore the painting.

Barry Bauman in his studio
The Society was also the beneficiary of another case study produced by Bauman during his treatment of the Lucius Fairchild portrait by John Singer Sargent. These extensive studies add greatly to the documentary record the Society maintains along with its collections. Join Bauman on October 9, 2007, as he visits the Society to present a lecture on his work with the Sargent painting. Treasures from the painting collection, including the Washington and Fairchild portraits, will be present for a special viewing.



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