|Frank F. English|
|Birth Date: December 4, 1854
|Death Date: 1922
|Frank F. English was born on December 4, 1854 in Louisville, Kentucky. He studied in England, Holland and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.
English was an American landscape painter, both in oils and his preferred medium of watercolor. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts between 1880 and 1882. One of his instructors was Thomas Eatkins.
English illustrated for local newspapers, magazines and books, but specialized in detailed farm and harbor scenes executed in the British watercolor tradition.
The watercolor was in unstable condition due to being fully adhered to an acidic board mount. Acids from this mount have migrated into the drawing paper over time, which has caused discoloration and embrittlement of the paper.
The board was removed from the mount by using small spatulas. The final layer of the board and residual adhesive were softened with a methyl cellulose poultice and removed with spatulas. It was determined that float bathing should not be carried out at this point since the paper was in a better condition than expected thereby not placing a potential risk to the media during the bathing, particularly the unpredictable layered medium on the horses. However, it was felt that localized alkaline bathing of the reverse should be carried out to neutralize acids in the paper. Localized bathing was carried out through repeated swabbing with cotton balls and alkaline water. Some discoloration was pulled out in to the cotton during the process and the paper felt more flexible as a result of treatment.
The drawing was humidified in a humidity chamber and pressed in a blotter stack to remove distortions. Minor tears on the bottom edge and a crease on the top right hand corner were reinforced on the reverse with Japanese tissue and wheat starch past. Several minute losses on the bottom edge were retouched with watercolor.
The restoration of “Wheat Harvest” was made possible in 1994/95 through a Gift from a Friend of the Museum.