Our philosophy is to alter the artwork as little as possible with respect to the original intention of the artist. To that end, we examine each work of art closely and tailor our methodologies to meet both the needs of the painting and client. We use only the finest materials and techniques which are found in major museums around the world. In accordance with our belief that restoration should be noninvasive, all of the work we do is fully reversible and in accordance with the AIC Code of Ethics
Currently the oldest conservation studio in Chicago, Baumgartner Fine Art Restoration was founded in late 1978 on the North side of Chicago by R. Agass Baumgartner. Born in Switzerland, Agass attended The Luzern Academy of Art and the École des Beaux-arts in Epinal, France, majoring in studio art and art history. Between 1971 and 1978 Baumgartner apprenticed and worked in the department of art conservation at the Museum of Art and History in Fribourg, Switzerland. From 1974 -1978 he freelanced in mural and 16th through 19th century easel painting restoration and conservation.
In 2000 while studying painting and printmaking at Purchase College, SUNY Agass' son, Julian began an apprenticeship to learn the art of conservation. Up until Agass' passing in 2011 Julian worked by his father's side mastering the procedures and processes of fine art conservation and restoration. Julian felt strongly about keeping the business open and in mid-2011 took full ownership and oversight of BFAR.
While other conservation studios have grown exponentially, Baumgartner Fine Art Restoration has decidedly stayed small. In 2022 Julian took on a conservation assistant in the same model that he experienced with his father. In keeping with his father's example Julian feels that by fostering a personal relationship with every client and artwork the best results can be achieved.
While Baumgartner Fine Art Restoration has worked with major corporations and governmental organizations, we are especially proud of our ongoing relationships with small museums, universities, art galleries, art dealers, collectors and of course private clients.