A privately owned and operated art conservation studio, Stoetzer, Inc provides a range of services to museums, art dealers, galleries, as well as foundation and private collectors across the globe. Located in Miami, Florida and Blowing Rock, North Carolina, we have now restored and treated more than 14,000 objects since we opened in 1968. In addition, we’ve scientifically tested and examined thousands more to determine their authenticity. Thanks to our wide range of experience, we are able to restore works of art from virtually every ancient civilization around the globe and work with a great variety of materials. Individuals and businesses know they can count on us for fine art restoration and authentication.
Fine Art Restoration
Works of ancient art which have been buried for thousands of years can suffer damages in many forms but accidents or changes may occur to artworks in the modern world at any time. Regardless of what has happened to the work, our team at Stoetzer, Inc will do their best to stabilize the condition of the material. Since each object has different needs we can restore the piece to its original condition or we can restore it in a manner that is compatible with its sense of antiquity. The first step of the process involves treating the condition of the object’s material substance and then restoration of the physical and aesthetic elements. It is a plan that corrects any problems while stabilizing the work’s condition.
Research may be needed to ensure the work is carried out in a manner that is faithful to the original piece. Observable evidence is extremely important determining what can be done and macro photography is a valuable tool in aiding the process. A variety of techniques may be employed to know where repairs are needed and how the piece should look when finished. The direction and extent of restoration, however, are done in consultation with the owner or curator.
Fine Art Authentication
There are many forgeries in all areas of the art market and some of these are very sophisticated. It is, therefore, important to deal with reputable galleries and dealers as well as to exercise some reasonable due diligence. Sophisticated fakes can fool even experienced collectors, thus care must be taken at all times.
The authentication process usually begins with a thorough visual examination of the surface and material substance of the object. A strong raking light across the surface and an ultraviolet light can reveal things which may not be seen under normal lighting. Greater details can then be studied with magnifications from 2x to 200x before we move on to simple physical tests of the materials. In most cases this all that is needed to make a determination of authenticity. However, if it isn’t, we employ techniques such as Carbon-14 dating, X-ray Imaging examinations, X-ray Fluorescence, or Thermoluminescence Analysis to make a scientific determination. The cost of scientific authentication can save collectors a great deal of money in the long run and the certificates become a valuable part of the future of the object.
The authentication of carved stone and jade objects is very specialized and difficult because there is no scientific method capable of dating when a stone was carved. Therefore expertise in the knowledge of the ancient techniques of lapidary work is essential as well as the ability to distinguish the differences between ancient and modern tooling signatures. Surfaces of ancient tooling have been exposed to long-term weathering and chemical changes in their burial. There can be erosion, accretions and surface changes that fakers often try to duplicate but when it is done artificially it can be detected in a thorough examination.
Planning and implementing an exhibit takes time, and we understand this. We work with clients, taking them through the development of a concept all the way to actually setting up the exhibit. This field continually changes, thus art collectors and businesses may find it hard to keep up with changing trends. We make use of solutions that are creative and innovative, yet practical, and we use the art to establish a theme or point of view the owner or exhibitor would like to present.
To achieve this, we discuss the exhibition’s purpose, intent, and objectives. This provides us with a starting point for the presentation of the chosen theme. The next step involves focusing on the concept to ensure the correct point of view is achieved, with the objective being to present the different pieces of art in a way that shows each item to its best advantage. This often involves the use of stands, furnishings, vitrines, special mounts, and cases to obtain the desired effect. It also incorporates the use of didactic panels, graphics and labels, and signage concerning the exhibition and objects displayed. Physical, budgetary and aesthetic considerations play a role in this entire process, and we specialize in creating an outstanding exhibit that fulfills the client’s requirements and constraints.
Each stage of the process works toward building the exhibition around the chosen theme. For example, during the design phase of the process, we come to an agreement with our client on the character and scope of the exhibition. This helps to ensure all parties are on the same page with regards to the appearance, the works of art selected, the physical requirements of exhibition furnishings and the budget for fabrication or rental of those items. Other considerations, of course, are needed for packing, transportation, installation, and logistics.
Security is an important consideration as the artwork needs to be safeguarded at all times. We utilize a variety of techniques to ensure the works of art will be properly packed, shipped, handled and installed without damage.
When purchasing art, people often assume all they need is good taste and a budget. Nothing is further from the truth. Numerous questions may arise as part of the process in addition to those that involve the authentication of the work. What condition is the work of art in? What furnishings will best show the art in a favorable light? What pieces are needed to complete the collection? These are only a few of the many areas where we can be of help to collectors or others in art-related fields.
We assist clients in these regularly by offering our professional opinion on the aesthetic value as well as the price of objects they are considering for purchase. We strive to ensure their acquisitions will contribute to the excellence of their collection.
It has become increasingly important for collectors to have proper documentation concerning the provenance of the objects in their collection for compliance with laws concerning cultural patrimony, and we are both knowledgeable and experienced in assisting clients with these issues.
In the event works of art are to be relocated, our staff can be of help. We consult with clients on packing and handling artworks for both domestic and international shipments to ensure it arrives in the same condition it left the collector’s space. Furthermore, we work with clients to make certain there are no issues with the customs brokerage. Works of art need to be safeguarded at all times, especially during transport, and we fully understand the importance of each step of this process.
Although we are known worldwide for our expertise in the area of Maya ceramics, both of the painted and sculpted variety, we work in a variety of areas above and beyond this. One thing clients know they can count on is our outstanding quality of work. Our work is impeccable when it comes to paying attention to the minute details of the art, including the iconography and the condition, and this carries over to all of our services.
Thanks to our thorough knowledge in the area of methods and materials when it comes to the production of art, clients know they can turn to us for help with any modern or ancient piece. This knowledge allows us to determine the authenticity of a work, and we take this even further. We understand design, style, and iconography as they relate to various ancient cultures, and this is necessary to thoroughly and correctly evaluate the origin of a piece.
In the event we need assistance with any of these tasks, we call on an established network of support services with other qualified conservators. These conservators work in specialized areas of practice, and clients may be referred to them for special needs. We want to ensure clients receive exactly what they need when it comes to their art collection and we provide this service to ensure they do.
Contact our facility today with any questions or concerns you have regarding modern art, artifacts, ancient art, and more, and we will be happy to address them. Our goal is to assist you in any way we can. We firmly believe that art is to be treasured at all times. We treat each piece as if it was our own and will do the same with yours. This helps to explain why major dealers, galleries, and collectors in the art world, turn to us when they need help with their art collections.