Rip Repair on Historic Oil Painting by Henry Chapman Ford, Santa Barbara, California

Vintage, historical oil painting Bishop Ranch – Glen Annie, Santa Barbara, CA 1875 by Henry Chapman Ford was very dirty, ripped and trashed. http://www.FineArtConservationLab.com Click on SEE MORE

Why we do NOT patch ripped paintings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOk0vk3w5zs

Contact info

Art conservators: Scott M. Haskins, Oriana Montemurro, Virginia Panizzon 805 570 4140 faclartdoc@gmail.com

Historical notes

Lots of vintage oil paintings pass my way for conservation with a dramatic story attached and so it was with this landscape that was ripped to shreds. Like many old paintings, it had old brown brittle ripped wrapping paper on the back… it looked like it had been through a war… and perhaps it had, of sorts.

The artwork in this story was part of “a pile of paintings” found in a storage shed, the damaged dirty oil painting had been thrown away… then fished out and “thrown into a deal” with an art dealer who bought the whole pile. Horse-traded along with other items twice more, it finally ended up in my hands to “save it if you can.” Well, saving and preserving art is what we do! It’s especially satisfying if its historic. Wouldn’t saving and preserving history for future generations give you the good worthwhile feeling of being socially conscientious?

Carefully looking it over I removed the old paper on the back and saw an inscription on the back written in a handwriting style that I recognized! Actually, I was stupefied! This painting’s location was less than a mile from where I live.“ Bishop Ranch – Glen Annie, Santa Barbara, CA.” Wow, it was a California historical painting! I immediately looked on the front of the painting and in the dirty lower left corner was the barely visible monogram of renown early California artist and Santa Barbara resident, Henry Chapman Ford, with the date, 1875.

HCF and I are old friends! My efforts in preserving and restoring his highly desirable, valuable paintings began in 1978 when I moved to Santa Barbara. I was asked to help salvage from the outer darkness of “Pigeon Row” storage at the abandoned Mission Inn in Riverside, CA one of the most important historical collections of paintings… considered by many art historians as a National Treasure; The Missions of California… by Henry Chapman Ford. Since that time, we have done painting conservation treatments on dozens of other paintings by Ford. All this to say, by the time this painting of Bishop Ranch – Glen Annie came into my hands, I knew intimately the work of Henry Chapman Ford.

In Goleta, California a few miles up the coast from Santa Barbara between the exits on the 101 freeway of Glen Annie – Storke Rd and Los Carneros on the North side of the road is a beautiful open space with an old ranch house nestled in the trees. That property used to extend back into the hills and up a canyon. To the locals it is known as Bishop’s Ranch but historically it was known as the Glen Annie Ranch of Tecolotito Canyon.

Colonel William Welles Hollister fell in love with this Goleta Valley tract of land the first time he saw it in 1854 as he was on his way to San Francisco. In the 1860’s he returned to Santa Barbara, buying up several Mexican land grants, but couldn’t get the owners of the Tecolotito Canyon area in Goleta to give it up.

The land he lusted after was owned by Nicholas A. Den. But then in 1862, Den died suddenly at only 50 years old. Not long afterwards, the heirs of the Den estate were open to selling off property as they needed additional monies.

Hollister was so in love with this land and so anxious to get it that he hastily purchased 5,100 acres from the family for $10 per acre when the current market value was only 10 cents! He wanted it ASAP, and the Den family eagerly accepted his generous offer.

In 1870 things were going well on the ranch. With the date of 1875 on the painting by Henry Chapman Ford, it was possibly a commission during a prosperous time when homes were being added to the property and existing residences upgraded. For Ford, his visibility and notoriety were being enhanced by his undertaking of the painting of the romantic and historic Missions of CA, which he had begun the year earlier, in 1874. Ford received much notoriety and enthusiasm from the public throughout California for his work. Besides being a patron of the arts, Hollister also became one of Santa Barbara’s leading entrepreneurs and philanthropists, financing and developing such projects as the Arlington Hotel, the Santa Barbara News-Press, Stearns Wharf, and the Lobero Theatre. But winds of a legal war were blowing.

For the rest of the story, go to http://www.fineartconservationlab.com/disaster-emergency-response/rip-repair-and-saving-historical-painting-of-bishop-ranch-santa-barbara-goleta-by-henry-chapman-ford/

 

 

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