July 12, 2018
A lovely c.1915 oil painting by Mary Brewster Hazelton returned “home” last month when it was delivered to the Fenway Studios in Boston for conservation. Hazelton (1868-1953) graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1892 and was one of many notable artists who occupied the Fenway Studios after they were opened in 1905 on Ipswich Street. Hazelton had a studio on the third floor and enjoyed the natural light provided by the twelve-foot-high, north-facing windows. The painting titled “Nina Rubinoff” was likely painted in this studio and was donated to the Wellesley Historical Society in 1986 by a local Wellesley family.
The painting was in need of cleaning, paint consolidation, and repair of a small tear it sustained before it was donated. I had the pleasure of dropping the painting off at the Fenway Studios office of painting conservator Peter Williams. Peter’s spacious, first floor studio was flooded with natural light as he gave me a tour of his workspace, which would have been similar in size and shape to Hazelton’s studio on the third floor. Peter will use museum-quality conservation techniques to bring this painting back to life and ensure that it can be enjoyed for another hundred years.
The Wellesley Historical Society has a collection of sixty paintings by Mary Brewster Hazelton as well as hundreds of sketches. The Society also houses the Hazelton family papers featuring Mary’s personal and business correspondence. Many of Hazelton’s paintings are in need of conservation and the Society is accepting donations for the care and restoration of this important collection. To donate, please send a check to “Wellesley Historical Society” to the attention of Kathleen Fahey, Curator at 229 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA 02481.
Image, above: Peter Williams and Kathleen Fahey with Hazelton's c.1915 painting entitled "Nina Rubinoff." Rubinoff worked as an artist's model and was a friend of Hazelton.
Image, left: Peter Williams uses a conservation-grade solvent to reveal the original color of the painting hidden under 100 years of grime.
Image, right: Fenway Studios, Boston.
To learn more about Mary Brewster Hazelton click here.
To visit Peter Williams website, click here.