Arthur William Hall
Born 1889, Bowie, Texas
Died 1981, Sun City, Arizona

Hopi Village, ca. 1950
Watercolor on paper

25 x 30 5/8 in. (frame)

Winfield Public Schools, USD 465 Foundation

Hall’s watercolor was conserved in 2019 with support from donors to USD 465’s art conservation campaign. The school district has held several fundraisers in which works are displayed with information about their condition and proposals for treatment.  

Donors can designate an artwork they would like to see cared for. Enough money was raised in 2017 to have this watercolor by Hall treated for various problems. Conservator Peggy Van Witt’s proposal read: “Repair hole/scratches and planar distortion, clean, cut new mat, install in new frame with UV glass, archival backing board, and new hardware.” 

Mats used to frame historic artworks are often acidic. Acids are likely to discolor the artwork’s paper support and make the mat brittle. In most cases, a first step in caring for the art is to replace the acidic mat. 

What can be done if the older mat has its own appeal because of color or decoration? This charming mat has distinctive lines around its window in the “French mat” style. In that case, one option is to place an acid-free mat between the art and the original top mat before framing.  

For framing delicate works on paper, glass with UV protection is recommended.

F. Leonard Stout
Born 1909, Winfield, Kansas
Died 1964, San Francisco, California

The Old Homestead, 1935

2 3/4 x 4 1/4 in. (image)

12 x 15 1/2 in. (mat)

Winfield Public Schools, USD 465 Foundation

Grace Raymond
Born 1876, Mount Vernon, Ohio
Died 1967, Winfield, Kansas

Bruges Street Scene, ca. 1935
Oil on canvas

35 3/8 x 26 5/8 in.

Winfield Public Schools, USD 465 Foundation

Raymond was an early art educator at Winfield’s Southwestern College and a flamboyant personality who traveled widely.  

This work shows heavy damage, including major dents, that has kept it from being on view in the Winfield schools. According to conservator Peggy Van Witt of Overland Park, if the canvas is loosened by trauma and then shrinks and expands with humidity and temperature paint loses its grip. Van Witt suggests stabilizing the flaking paint with reversible adhesives and adhering a lining onto the back of the canvas to strengthen it. Mild solvents would remove discoloration. Missing areas can be “in-painted” with reversible conservation pigments. Finally, varnish can be applied to protect the restored image.