Man in a Blue Vest

In the “Style of George Caleb Bingham” was the description of a portrait sold at auction several years ago. The winner bidder asked Fine Art Investigations if George Caleb Bingham created Man in a Blue Vest? Bingham? No. Not only did the technique differ, the painting had an entirely different sensibility. The dark-haired subject’s open collar, his dressing gown worn …

Restoration vs. Conservation

“There are two ways for a painting to perish, the one is for it to be restored, the other is for it not to be restored.”—Étienne Gilson“Restoration is a necessary evil.”—Max Friedländer Restoration vs. Conservation is a frequent topic in conversations with clients about their heirloom portraits. This article by George Bisacca,Conservator Emeritus at The Metropolitan Museum of Art brilliantly explains the …

Stories Behind the Portraits: The Dunnicas

Discovering History through Art Historians usually add a painting as an illustration. Fine Art Investigations uses portraits as an entry point to history.  An example is the stories behind the recently re-discovered portraits of the Dunnicas. The first part of their biography briefly described American expansion in the west after the War of 1812. Back when the Western frontier was central Missouri and …