Recent Acquisitions

Portrait Restoration Project

Bass Otis
(American, 1784 - 1861)
Portrait of Reverend Heinrich Christian Helmuth
Early 19th century
Oil on canvas
29 x 24 1/2 inches

helmuth1


 
 

   The canvas was very loosely stretched, fabric torn around
    tacks, hole in the eye, and several small punctures.  The
    surface was very dirty and covered with an unknown
    synthetic varnish and possibly egg white, holding in place
    deeply imbedded dirt.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

helmuth2
 
 
 
 
 

The conservator removed the canvas from the original frame and began the laborious process of removing years of dirt and soot.  The canvas is too thick and uneven to reline, so the conservator reinforced it with loose muslin lining to prevent future cracking.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

helmuth3
 
 
 
 
 

   In this photo (9-16-05), cleaning of the portrait is about
   50% complete.  The removal of dark blue top layers
   reveals bold brushstrokes and rich coloring.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

helmuth4
 
 
 
 

The overpaint has been heavily applied in passages, so the conservator has removed this with scalpel and chemicals (hence the hole in the eyebrow -- this will be filled with varnish and paint).
 
 


The Lindemann Herbal

herbal5

   A handwritten manuscript compiled by Philipp Lindemann in Stark
   County, Ohio, between ca. 1835 and 1867 containing 432
   watercolor drawings of medical herbs followed by handwritten
   descriptions of the plants in German. The drawings and descriptions
   are numbered so that they can be cross-indexed. An additional
   section lists the various names used for each plant. Some of the
   descriptions are written on the back of correspondence received by
   Lindemann, the latest dated 1867. The paper the manuscript is
   written on dates from the 1830s and 1860s (there seem to be two
   distinctly different types of paper used). The mherbal9anuscript has various
   tipped-in pieces of paper of varying
   sizes containing handwritten
   notes. Includes indexes. The manuscript has a leather back cover, but is missing the front cover and spine. It is not clear if the manuscript had a title page because it was intended for Lindemann's personal consultation and reflects the wear of many years of usage. This is the only known manuscript herbal from the world of 19th century German-American culture.

Acquisitions source: Purchased with the generous financial assistance of the Max Kade German-American Research Institute, from the Roughwood Collection, 2004.

Biographical note: Philipp Lindemann, a German immigrant from the area of Limbach in the western Palatinate, was an herb doctor and powwower who settled in or near Canton, Ohio.

More pictures of the Lindemann Herbal...