THE CONSERVATION OF A PAINTED BALTIMORE SIDECHAIR (ca. 1815) ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN AND HUGH FINLAY
PETER L. FODERA, KENNETH N. NEEDLEMAN, & JOHN L. VITAGLIANO
ABSTRACT—A yellow painted sidechair, attributed to John and Hugh Finlay and in the Collection of the Kaufman Americana Foundation, was conserved in a collaborative effort among conservators, conservation scientists, historians, and the owners. It is one of 11 known examples from a set representing the epitome of neoclassical chairs in the Baltimore style. Eight other examples from the set are in important museum collections, and they have been exhibited and widely illustrated, all in the context of one treatment executed in 1967, which left the chairs heavily overpainted and varnished. The treatment carried out by the authors on the Kaufman Foundation's chair focused on the conservation of the decorative surface. We believe the results will contribute to a reevaluation of the overall aesthetic sophistication of this important object.
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