Restoring Willard Page Paintings

Because Willard Page painted on different surfaces and used different frame mouldings, we adapt our restoration and conservation techniques to address the requirements of each piece. Each painting may vary in it’s needs depending on the condition of any varnish, chips or marring of surface and condition, type of substrate and period frame if available.

Our AIC, (American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works), associates staff ensure that proper care and materials are used to protect and preserve the collection.

Jan 18th, painting arrives

Designation WPC 26 is assaigned. 

WPC 26
View Through Aspens Of Mount Taylor
oil on paper board 7” x 5”
signed WP in lower right
faded title on verso in pencil.

Disassembled components

Observations; backing is loose, frame corners slightly separated, original backing still partially glued down.


Disassemble, remove and keep original eye hooks, original hanging wire is rusted/compromised discard.

Removing paper backing with blade.

Removing paper back.

Remove tacks and remove artwork from frame.

Examine face. Observe frame indentations on edges, stains to surface, and discoloration at areas of frame lip contact. (Page most likely put paintings into frames at times before the paint and or varnish was completely dry out of necessity to maintain his stock.)

Damage to edges caused by frame.

Remove loose paper from frame verso with blade and light sanding.

Clean frame face with dry cleaning pad. Frame will need rejoining at all corners.

Rejoin and touch up frame.

Test surface with all chemical mixtures for cleaning with cotton swab to observe effect and determine best combination for artwork

Painting after touch up of fleckked paint caused by frame pressure and adhesion and a coat of damar varnish.

Completed painting restoration.

The finished piece in its restored frame.

We will be posting more restoration stories in the blog as well as developing a restoration notes section in the catalog regarding individual pieces as the site develops.

Wm Bock,

Collection manager, (MFA, AIC, ASA)

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