Who Is Leith Rutherfurd Talamo?

Leith Rutherfurd Talamo attended the Louve Museum School in Paris, France and trained in the restoration of old master paintings.  Her classical, natural based training runs counter to the schooling restorers receive today.  The widely used potent chemicals and synthetic materials preferred by modern restorers are more efficient for the restorer but can be potentially damaging to the work of art.


Mrs. Talamo received her conservation training in Bruxelles, Belgium in the 1960’s. This training focused on the classical restoration techniques that were taught to European artists through the 19th century.  Classical training emphasized that all restoration must be reversible.  Mrs. Talamo learned to grind her own colors, make natural varnishes, and cook oils as our ancestors did.  She learned to clean paintings using the mildest of the many possible chemicals so that the painting is never over cleaned and the artist’s paint is never removed.  Depending on the condition of the painting, she will always leave a thin layer of the original varnish on the surface of the painting that gives a mellow and lovely patina to the work and is also a record of great importance to future restorers. Mrs. Talamo also learned to reline canvas paintings - that is to glue down deteriorated, flaking paint and transfer the painting from a dried and rotted canvas to a new, strong canvas thus in every case always returning the painting to what the artist intended.


During the 1970’s, Mrs. Talamo worked as a restorer in Italy.  In 1980, she moved back to New York City and worked for Margaret Watherston Inc, conservator of the Whitney Museum of American Art, specializing in acrylic paintings. Starting her business in 1985, Mrs. Talamo has had a great variety of projects and clients. She greatly enjoys the vast variety of work in New York: artists, conditions, values, provenances.