I thought I'd just show you what I've had the privilege to work on for the last two days. I'm working on putting an Alphons Mucha print back together.
Alphons Mucha was born in what is now the Czech Republic around 1860 and he is often referred to as the father of Art Nouveau. This particular print is of Job Cigarette Papers. I've looked online, but couldn't find this particular one. I haven't search by printer yet, a Paris based printer.
We recently received the Plastic Club Archives. The Plastic Club is the oldest club in the US organized by women for women in the arts still in existence. In fact they are right around the corner from us on Camac street in one of those cute little three-up houses. They decided that they could no longer care for the their archives properly seeing as how most of their things were falling apart. I assessed them last spring, a very generous donation was made and now we will be conserving and archiving the collection. We had a little shindig tonight to sort of inaugurate the process with the members of the Plastic club, and I was asked to finish something fabulous. We think that Mucha came to the Plastic Club and gave lectures to help them fund a permanent building. He was in the US from 1906 - 1910. Perhaps he presented the plastic club with this print? So I pulled out these dusty disastrous looking things that just literally crumbled in my hands. It was awful. This beautiful poster that is approximately 41" x 60" was folded up so that I wound up with about 16 separate squares by the time I was unfolding it, with a lot of crumbs to boot. I've been mending it on the back, which is also beautiful, by the way, since the ink has burned through the paper.
I'm really close to finishing piecing it together. The paper is in such bad shape though, that when you practically breath on it it splits apart.
But it was the highlight of the evening, and there is another poster in the same folder that I'm dying to open to see what it is. But I shall refrain so that I don't mix up the crumbs.