A Conservation Story

How the license of a Bridgeman-represented work for the reprint of a classic American novel led to a conservation project at the Virginia Historical Society.

Barn and Cattle by Pierre Daura, pre (bottom left) and post-restoration (bottom right).

 

Barn and Cattle (tempera on paper) by Pierre Daura. Pre-restoration. Virginial Historical Society
Barn and Cattle (tempera on paper) by Pierre Daura. Pre-restoration. Virginial Historical Society

 

 

Barn and Cattle (tempera on paper) by Pierre Daura. Post-restoration. Virginia Historical Society.
Barn and Cattle (tempera on paper) by Pierre Daura. Post-restoration. Virginia Historical Society.

 

 

Detail of the cover of 'O Pioneers' by Willa Cather, published by Random House. Image courtesy of Random House.
Detail of the cover of 'O Pioneers' by Willa Cather, published by Random House. Image courtesy of Random House.

 

When Random House called us with a request to use Pierre Daura's painting on a reprint of  'O Pioneers' by Willa Cather, Bridgeman obtained permission from the Virginia Historical Society. Normally, this would be a straightforward case, but this was unique because the designer wanted to modify the painting to allow more room for the title. Virginia Historical contacted Martha Daura, the artist's daughter, and she was thrilled with the idea. Upon further inspection of the digital file, Martha noticed that the painting was showing its age. What happened next was a happy surprise, the Daura Foundation sponsored a conservation effort to restore the tempera painting to its original brilliance.   Read the full story on Virginia Historical's blog.

Cather's early 20th century novel tells the story of a family of Swedish immigrants in Hanover, Nebraska struggling to make their new life on the prairie work. Click here for more information on the book.

Pierre Daura, a prolific Catalan-American artist, had a self-professed lifelong "love affair with art". He lived and worked between southern France and Virginia. The landscapes of the Blue Ridge region around his American home are a recurrent theme in many of his works.


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