Return from conservation

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Painting pre-conservation

Last year I posted about winning money from the Bronze Door Society to conserve my favorite painting in the collection.  Well, I’m happy to say that the painting has now returned from conservation and looks amazing!

Notice how dark the painting was.  It’s difficult to see, but there is a tear on the pyramid, just above the second smoke stack.  The canvas was loose on the stretcher and part of the artist’s signature (as well as people and camel feet) were wrapped around the bottom edge, obscuring them.   Read more

When Research pays off

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MS15-14558Kronprinzessin Cecilie-LightWell (1)

There is nothing quite so satisfying in my job then when I make an interesting discovery regarding objects in our collection.  A couple of weeks ago I was researching some of the North German Lloyd ships, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Kronprinz Wilhelm, when I came across a picture of the First Class Dining Room for Kronprinzessin Cecilie.  Now, I had seen this picture before (shown below), but hadn’t really taken a good look at it.

This time I noticed that the decorative piece in the center looked familiar so I zoomed in and sure enough, it is a piece in our collection!  The four cherubs around it (only three are visible in this picture) are also in our collection.   Read more

Artifact of the Month – Painting of SS Kaiser Wilhelm II

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kaiser wilhelm

Today’s object of the month is an oil painting featuring the steamship Kaiser Wilhelm II in front of the Great Pyramids of Egypt.  I remember when I first came across it as I thought it was such a strange image with the ship completely out of water, but of course that’s how an allegorical painting is supposed to look.  With my interest piqued, I went to check out the file folder to see what the background of this painting was.  To my dismay, there was next to no information in the file and the wrong artist had even been attributed to the painting, despite the fact that there is a clear signature in the bottom left hand corner.

I am a rather curious person by nature, and so not knowing anything about this painting was rather painful.  Taking what little I knew about it, which was basically just the artist, I turned to my best friend for answers, Google.  I soon found out that the artist, Otto Bollhagen, was a well-known painter in Bremen, Germany.  This is where he set up his ‘atelier’, meaning studio.  Underneath ‘Atelier Bollhagen’ on the signature is ‘Bremen’.  The business Otto started in 1892 continues today under the leadership of a great-grandson.   Read more