SOURCE: J. Todd Galleries

J. Todd Galleries

January 25, 2012 10:00 ET

Art Restoration Flourishes in Boston; Repair, Cleaning and Conservation of Oil Paintings Protects Collectors' Investments

WELLESLEY, MA--(Marketwire - Jan 25, 2012) - While many expansion and acquisition plans have been put on hold during the economic slowdown of the past few years, many institutions and collectors have turned instead toward refurbishing their better quality objects of art and antiques. Robert Totaro, Director of J. Todd Galleries reports that, in the Boston area, the result has been that art restorers and conservators are busier than ever.

A few organizations protecting their art investments recently have been the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum, The Boston Public Library, The Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Massachusetts Historical Society. Several of Boston's finest educational institutions have also contracted to repair and clean their oil paintings.

But the majority of restoration work comes from private collectors -- both family heirlooms and more contemporary works that may have been exposed to fire, smoke, extreme heat, light, water/dampness or general neglect. The result is cracking or chips, peeling paint, mildew or staining, canvas buckling, tears, scratches or just a filmy coating of smoke or dirt from normal exposure. Often the frames need attention as well.

Restoring oil paintings is a worthwhile endeavor. The immediate reward is aesthetic -- a creation much closer to what the artist intended -- not a damaged, diminished version of it. But long term, a properly restored painting will be protected from further deterioration, which will likely become more difficult (and expensive) to fix later on. And owning a family heirloom, which is likely to get passed on, comes with a responsibility to protect the investment along the way. Passing on a damaged painting is like passing on any damaged asset -- maybe worse, since the recipient may not understand how (or have the financial means) to get it restored.

J. Todd Galleries of Wellesley, MA ( has seen a tremendous up-tick in restoration activity. Known regionally for its fine art offerings and conservation services, J. Todd's Director reports a brisk business in this arena. The 30-year old company had record restoration sales in 2011. Totaro says, "We've had the same restorer for over 25 years. He has extensive experience, and it's a rare occasion when we can't bring a painting back to near-new condition. It's a rewarding line of work, and we love a challenge."

Contact Information

  • J. Todd Galleries
    572 Washington St.
    Wellesley, MA
    888-565-6554 or