I recently acquired a 17th century Northern Italian painting of “The Annunciation” – NOT “The Expulsion of Hagar”, I might add – and had it cleaned and restored by a professional art restorer, Katja Grauman. Not only did Katja do an incredible job with a work of art that was probably bound for the scrap heap without a serious bit of intervention, but she was also a fascinating interview, as I think you’ll agree after reading my latest for The Federalist, which is out this morning. In our conversation, Katja describes what she had to do to bring the painting back to life, and also how she went about becoming an art restorer. It’s a career path that involves a mix of art, science, history, being crafty, and loving and preserving old things for future generations.
My thanks as always to my editor, Joy Pullman, for helping bring this article into a readable format, and my particular thanks to Katja Grauman, for her professionalism, patience, and skill. To see more of the often miraculous restorations that Katja is able to bring about, even when you might think that a piece is beyond repair, be sure to take a look at some of the amazing before and after images on her website. They were what convinced me to entrust my painting to her hands, and I’m deeply grateful for having done so. If you’re looking to have something cleaned and restored, by all means reach out to her with full confidence: I will absolutely be doing so again with other works in my collection that need some professional care and sensitive attention.