ROYAL OAK, MI – Five months after a burst pipe damaged about a hundred artifacts at the Royal Oak Historical Museum, nearly all the pieces have now been restored and returned to the museum’s care.
Wet historical documents, bulging oil paintings and warped black-and-white photographs were transformed back to their full flourish, said curator Muriel Versagi.
“It’s wonderful. It’s better than it was,” she said.
On June 25, the pieces were carefully delivered to a climate-controlled storage vault in Ferndale, where they will stay until November, when they can be moved to the museum’s new location: the old fire station at Webster and Crooks.
Among the restored items is a 1935 oil painting of George A. Dondero, Royal Oak’s first mayor. Painted by local artist Robert A. Herzberg, it hung in Dondero’s office in Washington during his stint in Congress from 1933 to 1957.
The restoration of the items was one of the biggest challenges experts at Livonia-based Art Recovery Technologies have faced.
“You had to be extra careful to not cause more damage, remove anything, take off more paint,” said Mary Fisher, general manager. “It was a long, tedious process.”
Art Recovery Technologies (ART) has created America’s premier art restoration service by offering superior quality and skilled remediation service cost-effectively. With a proven track record of successfully applying modern mitigation and restoration technology, ART can restore and preserve valuable artwork and collectibles including: paintings, frames, works on paper, photographs, sculptures, murals, mosaics and decorative arts. Throughout the country, ART can provide the hands-on service and rapid turn-around time that claims professionals, agents and collectors require.
Wayne E. Smith / The Detroit News – Employees from Art Recovery Technologies, Leonard Brothers storage and the museum check out a 1935 painting of Royal Oak’s first mayor.
Electronic Restoration Services
Original story covered:
Catherine Jun / The Detroit News – Monday, July 02, 2007