Recently, after spending a few months in Austin, Villa Finale’s grand copy of Leandro Bassano’s “Parable of the Rich Man and the Poor Lazarus”, returned to us in fine form. Art conservator, Mark van Gelder, who had had the painting since June, was finished fussing over it (Mr. van Gelder is a perfectionist) and sent it back to us. Except, it didn’t come to Villa Finale. On purpose. And neither did 26 works by Mary Bonner which had also been conserved, in Austin, by Cheryl Carrabba.
The Tobin Foundation for Theatre Arts has a modern and quite fantastic art storage facility which they opened up for Villa Finale’s artworks until we are finished with our restoration. All works of art that we considered at risk are now stored there, both fully conserved works and those that will need conservation in the future. All told, we have close to 50 works stored there, about one third of the total number of paintings in the house. Luckily, the storage building itself is built like a fortress, carefully monitored, fully alarmed and climate controlled.
The Lazarus painting came off the giant art mover truck, up the ramp, and was so large it had to remain seated. All works by Mary Bonner were set on tables, since they aresecurely wrapped and will remain so until we are ready to put them back up in the back stairwell at Villa Finale.