Famed Conservator Tapped For Work Attributed To Whistler

LOS ANGELES, CA, February 14, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ — Celebrated conservator, Peter Paul Biro was recently commissioned to examine and restore an oil on canvas painting titled, ‘Lady With A Parasol’ by James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Though he was based primarily in the United Kingdom, Whistler was an American artist of the Gilded age. This particular painting had long been presented on the walls of the Butler Institute of American Art, in Youngstown, Ohio.

Peter Paul Biro conducted a first ever comprehensive and thorough examination of the ‘Lady With A Parasol’ painting. Present at the examination were the Director and Chief Curator of the Butler Institute of Art – Dr. Louis A. Zona, as well as additional staff members of the museum. Previously, ‘Lady With A Parasol’ was long in the possession of a noted American family of art collectors.

The James Abbott McNeill Whistler oil on canvas piece is documented for sale in a 1949 auction advertisement that appeared in the Los Angeles Times. The auction took place at the Curtis Gallery and Library in the Old Pasadena district of Pasadena, California.

The stated goal of Mr. Biro’s examination was to evaluate and determine the beautiful work of art’s conservation history and physical condition. Numerous high-resolution digital images were taken of ‘Lady With A Parasol’ with state of the art imaging equipment. Additionally, Peter Paul Biro closely inspected the painting under both ultraviolet fluorescent light as well as direct, natural light.

Mr. Biro’s examination and analysis determined that ‘Lady With A Parasol’ had been, on all four sides, cut down from its original size. Additionally, the frame that once housed the oil on canvas work had also been cut on all sides. Research determined this cutting was reported to have been done to preserve the painting from an approaching fire at some point during its history. Peter Paul Biro’s examination and analysis determined the painting to have had significant age by the time the painting and its frame were cut down in size.

Mr. Biro will also perform a detailed restoration of Whistler’s ‘Lady With A Parasol’ at the request of the painting’s owner.

The Butler Institute, founded in 1919 is the first museum dedicated solely to the exhibition and preservation of work by American artists. The museum’s collection now includes many masterpieces among it’s 20,000+ works of art.

Peter Paul Biro has performed forensic examinations of paintings in museums and collections around the world. He specializes in solving some of the most challenging art authentication cases, frequently showcased in the world media. Peter Paul Biro has worked on art from some of the world’s greatest artists, including Michaelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Monet, Picasso, and more. Mr. Biro has lectured at Harvard University, the University of Glasgow, the University of Toronto, and the National Portrait Gallery, in London.


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