Some great work has been done to restore the original Star Wars in all it's glory. This is amazing, look at the shot comparisons. Hopefully this will see the light of day as a finished restoration. Channel definition: "This is a preservation/restoration, with the goal of presenting each frame in the best possible light without altering them, internally."
The Supermarine Spitfire is probably the most iconic of all fighter planes. Watch the re-creation of a crashed Spit left on a French beach after the battle of Dunkirk in 1940 in Guy Martin Builds a Spitfire. [1 hr 12 min YouTube]
Cleopatra's Needle, the 3,500 year old obelisk that has been installed in Central Park for the past century, is about to cleaned, with lasers.
The restoration of Jackson Pollock"s 1943 painting "Mural" (6 minute autoplay video) In a project that has taken nearly two years, the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles have employed various cutting-edge techniques to painstakingly restore Jackson Pollock’s 1943 "Mural". [more inside]
Much like the animated train in the old Gumby television series, the UP 4014 Big Boy is moving along hopscotched panel track on the first leg of its trip to restoration (previously) at the Union Pacific's Cheyenne Steam shop. [more inside]
The bones had been boiled, the skins salted and soaked in formalin, the hoofs and horns measured and labeled, and the disassembled parts crated and shipped to the Upper West Side. There, on Akeley’s production line, the remains were reassembled and processed into a perfect likeness of what had once been, a “real” copy of reality. The animal had become an “animal."[more inside]
Last summer, the Museum of Modern Art took one of its best-known paintings off the wall, Jackson Pollock's One: Number 31, 1950, so that it could be conserved. They've been blogging about the process of restoring this dense, multi-layered work, including closeup photos that reveal an earlier restoration in the mid-60s before it came to MOMA.
240 year-old Menokin House was home to one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. The Menokin Foundation would like to restore it, but all that's left these days are two broken walls and a pair of crumbling chimneys. Even the head of the foundation admits, "Virginia needs another house museum like it needs a hole in the head." So how to honor the home's owner colonial statesman Francis Lightfoot Lee while still trying to present something novel and worth seeing? The Foundation's answer: rebuild the structure, just as it was, but replacing all of its missing components with structural glass.
The New York State Capitol Building was original completed in 1899. A recent renovation was just completed and there are stunning photographs of the results.
This playlist documents the restoration to operable status of an early US Army 1911 (1918 pattern) pistol. The 1911 was recovered buried in 3 feet of mud in Tennessee alongside an old bootlegging road. Wanna see the 1911 in action? The incomparable hickok45 gives a run-down of its history and fires a few mags.
In Sentencing Criminals, Is Norway Too Soft? Or Are We Too Harsh?
It’s not very often the concept of restorative justice gets much play outside scholarly publications or reformist criminal justice circles, so first, some credit for Max Fisher at The Atlantic for giving it an earnest look last week. In seeking to explain Norway’s seemingly measly twenty-one-year sentence for remorseless, mass-murdering white supremacist Anders Breivik—a sentence that is certain to be extended to last the rest of his life—Fisher casts a critical eye on the underlying philosophy that animates that country’s sentencing practices, finding it to be “radically different” from what we’re used to in the United States.The Effectiveness of Restorative Justice Practices: A Meta-Analysis [more inside]
On October 4 you will have the cinematic opportunity of a lifetime to see David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia on the big screen in a new 4K digital restoration.
Art restoration is probably best left to the professionals, as vividly demonstrated by an elderly Spanish woman's unauthorized attempt to repair a damaged fresco, “Ecce Homo,” by painter Elias Garcia Martinez. The results speak for themselves.
"The fertile Wadi Hanifah valley running through part of Riyadh was for years a rubbish dump and a public health hazard, but now it's been transformed into a vast park, with lakes that attract cool breezes. It's an oasis so large it's hard to police - making it a place for Saudi citizens to relax, in more senses than one." [more inside]
What you see here is a prime example of what happens to film that is neglected and improperly stored. This is an original reel from It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World that is now untouchable. The film has turned acidic, sporting the strongest and most foul vinegar-like odor I have ever smelled. In fact, Robert Harris told me a story of how his contact lenses were singed by the fumes the film produced, causing temporary retinal damage to his eye. [more inside]
Buying a car with babysitting money Kathryn, at age 12, decided that she wanted a Pontiac Fiero for her 16th birthday. After convincing her parents, she bought it and has been restoring it from the ground up, including upholstery, motor rebuilding, welding, and more.
As we know, RMS Titanic was on her ill-fated maiden voyage a century ago this week. Less well-known: the tender ship to Titanic and her sister Olympic was the SS Nomadic. The ship was built on Slipway No. 1 of Harland and Wolff Shipyards alongside the liners (Olympic and Titanic were built on slipways 2 and 3, respectively). The massive liners -- each nearly nine hundred feet long and measuring some 45,000 tons -- were too large to dock at Cherbourg, so Nomadic was used to ferry mail, passengers and cargo aboard at Cherbourg, the liners' last port of call before crossing the Atlantic. She saw service in both world wars, as a troop carrier in WWI and again as a troop transport, minelayer and coastal patrol vessel in WWII. After the second war, she returned to service as a tender for Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. Decommissioned in 1968, Nomadic was converted into a floating restaurant in Paris. When the business failed around the turn of the century, her superstructure was torn down so she could be towed out to Le Havre. After her owner's death in 2005, she seemed destined for the scrapyard until a group of maritime history enthusiasts began raising funds to buy and restore her. The Northern Ireland government's Department for Social Development purchased the ship and brought her home to Belfast on a barge for restoration at Harland and Wolff, a company now mostly devoted to offshore renewable energy. And thus it is that century after Titanic and for almost certainly the last time ever, a White Star vessel is at the Harland and Wolff shipyards. [more inside]
The Prado Museum in Madrid has what they had considered to be an inferior late-era replica of the Mona Lisa, a portrait surrounded by black. But when conservators compared infrared images of their copy with images taken in 2004 from the Leonardo's masterpiece, they found that the Prado replica closely resembled early under-drawings covered by the Mona Lisa everyone sees. Yesterday, Prado held a news conference to announce that their restoration efforts are nearly done and displayed the work in progress. The comparison is striking, showing details that might have been visible when the Mona Lisa was fresh, 500 years ago. The Guardian has more details and a high-detail portion of the apprentice's painting, believed to be by Francesco Melzi. [more inside]
This stealthy undertaking was not an act of robbery or espionage but rather a crucial operation in what would become an association called UX, for “Urban eXperiment.” UX is sort of like an artist’s collective, but far from being avant-garde—confronting audiences by pushing the boundaries of the new—its only audience is itself. More surprising still, its work is often radically conservative, intemperate in its devotion to the old. Through meticulous infiltration, UX members have carried out shocking acts of cultural preservation and repair, with an ethos of “restoring those invisible parts of our patrimony that the government has abandoned or doesn’t have the means to maintain.” The group claims to have conducted 15 such covert restorations, often in centuries-old spaces, all over Paris. - Wired.com "The New French Hacker-Artist Underground"
Just in time for Turkey Day.
Recently something unique came into my possession: the original 16mm work-print of Manos: The Hands of Fate. (made famous by these guys).
Recently something unique came into my possession: the original 16mm work-print of Manos: The Hands of Fate. (made famous by these guys).
So you've come to terms with it: George Lucas doesn't give a shit about you. Maybe it was the minor edits to the re-releases, like Han shooting second, or one of the recent Blu-Ray additions with Darth Vader shouting Nooooo at the end of Return Of The Jedi, or maybe you liked the movies, except for silly characters like the Ewoks or Jar Jar Binks. However it happened, you are pining for the early version of Star Wars you remembered before all those changes, or maybe you're dreaming of a version without some of the schmaltzy stuff. Dream no more, the Fan Preservers and Fan Editors are making your wishes real. [more inside]
The Wren's Nest, so named for the birds that took up residence in the mailbox, is the former home of author Joel Chandler Harris, the man behind the Uncle Remus tales. Located on the west side of Atlanta, the house--now a museum--was neglected, in disrepair and in debt until 2006, when Harris' great-great-great-grandson Lain Shakespeare took over as executive director. [more inside]
As time has gone by, though, Touch of Evil has acquired a large cult following, and it now regularly appears on lists of the best films of the century. What is not generally known is that the film never accurately reflected Welles's intentions for it. In July 1957, the studio took over the editing of the film and prevented him from participating in its completion. In an odd turn of events, however, a 58-page memo that Welles wrote in 1957 was recently rediscovered, and a small team on which I was film editor and sound mixer has used that remarkable document to bring Touch of Evil as close as possible to Welles's original concept. - Walter Murch, 1998
More than 80% of old film has been lost forever. But that which remains - including a heavily restored long tracking shot of Dunkirk from a tramway in 1913, London in 1955, and Prague in 1947 - are incredibly evocative of history. Much more at Europa Film Treasures and the Huntley Film Archives. [more inside]
Color Silurian Overlay: How the Doctor Who Restoration Team brought the Third Doctor serial from a telerecording to its original video glory. Here's the Guardian article, or if you're video production-literate, a lengthy technical explanation of the restoration method and technology.
The Vincent Van Gogh Museum (previously) is undertaking a complete restoration of The Bedroom (or Bedroom in Arles), one of Van Gogh's best-known paintings. The staff members working on the restoration have started a blog to document the entire process.
The Buenos Aires restoration of Metropolis streams today. (French|German) It's said that nearly an hour of footage, long thought to be lost, has been added.
The Memphis Belle, the first B-17F Flying Fortress to complete 25 combat missions, is in the process of being restored. [more inside]
A cool tale about second graders at P.S. 178 in Queens falling in love with John Coltrane, and raising funds to help restore the house in nearby Dix Hills [previously on mefi] where the saxophonist (and saint?) composed his spiritual masterpiece A Love Supreme [last four links go to Youtube].
In 2006 in the Fitzwilliam Museum three enormous porcelain vases from seventeenth or eighteenth century China were smashed by a museum visitor who fell down the stairs. This presentation "follows the vases' progress from scattered fragments to their redisplay in the Fitzwilliam Museum. The site includes slideshows, film clips of the conservation process and a timelapse of one of the vases under reconstruction". [more inside]
West Coast Classic Restoration specializes in restoring vintage Volkswagens and Porsches, and they have lots of photos of their restoration process.
Classic Car Restorations - I was particularly taken by the Model A and the parade ground car of Stalin.
One day, a vintage motorcycle restorer gets an idea in his head to tackle a new project, restoring an old-timey "board-tracker" bike. In and of itself, that's not such a big deal; over the past century, vehicle restoration has become equal parts hobby, business, and spectator sport. The catch with this particular project, however, is that there are no existing examples of the bike he wants to rebuild, the last known extant part remaining is a corroded engine case, and there are only 5 known photographs - all of which happen to show just the right side of the bike. This is the story (so far) of Paul Brodie's Excelsior OHC. [via]
The Mesopotamian Marshlands have been inhabited for so long that some consider them to be the Garden of Eden. If this is true, then paradise is mostly lost. The marshlands have been shrinking since the 1970s, catastrophically so between 1990 and 1997. The Marsh Arabs have a pastoral lifestyle, relying on fishing and farming. They traditionally live in floating thatched huts, and build grand mudhifs, which serve as public spaces, but as the marshes have receded, the villages have moved ashore. As dire as it seems, restoration efforts are underway. But is it too little, too late?
"The K-Metal from Krypton" is one of the most important "lost" stories by the original creators of Superman, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Written and drawn in 1940, but never published, the story would have vastly altered much of the Superman mythos for the next 65 years. Aside from the early introduction of Kryptonite, the issue would have disclosed Superman's secret identity to Lois Lane, leading to a completely different relationship in which the two worked together as a team. Thanks to the work of readers and fans, including writer Mark Waid and artist Alex Ross, original art and scripts are slowly being recovered, and the entire issue is being reproduced online, with full color treatment and missing pages being replicated in Shuster's original drawing style.
"The best selling stoves and refrigerators at Jowers Appliances these days aren't sleek models with computerized controls. What folks can't get enough of are the stoves and refrigerators that the store would have sold when it opened more than 50 years ago." Welcome to the world of vintage appliances! Stove/range porn (SFW): O'Keefe & Merritt, Wedgewood, Western Holly. How about doing your own old stove restoration? Need some guidance? Want to see what your vintage stove might be worth? It might surprise you!
Fill in the blanks, connect the dots. We've had Star Trek special effects possibly redone, we've had Battlestar Galactica "reimagined". Now the BBC is replacing a couple of lost episodes in a live series Doctor Who DVD with animated versions, to match the soundtracks, which weren't lost. Of course, we've seen some Flash based episodes already.
They look slick to cover up the garbage. With the increasing popularity of scooters in North America, many people are trying their hand at vintage Vespas and Lambrettas. However, there's an increasing number of quick and dirty restoration jobs showing up on Craigslist and eBay. Now, there are those that are trying to warn the noobz.
The most modern home built in the world. "From the outside it looks like a spaceship you cannot enter. But if you go inside, it feels very cozy… very Zen and calming. Maybe because you are floating above the city, in the sky". John Lautner's Chemosphere residence is the product of a fortuitous union of architect, client, time and place. Leonard Malin was a young aerospace engineer in late-1950s L.A. whose father-in-law had just given him a plot north of Mulholland Drive, near Laurel Canyon. The only catch: at roughly 45 degrees, the slope was all but unbuildable. Lautner sketched a bold vertical line, a cross, and a curve above it. "Draw it up," he told his assistant. Now publisher Benedikt Taschen owns Chemosphere (NSFW), and after 20 years of neglect the house has been beautifully restored (.pdf) by Frank Escher.
The Aurora (mostly pictures, slightly more info here). One car, two men, three decades of rust. Guy buys truly hideous 1957 prototype car from junkyard, restores it to gleaming unsightliness. Conne_ticut?
A restoration project has been underway since 1998 to restore the 15th-century Tibetan Buddhist monastery wall paintings of Lo Monthang, a city in the kingdom of Mustang in northwest Nepal. The results have been very impressive. Mustang is also home to some amazing cave temples.
Don't call her frigid. After ten years and almost four millions dollars, Glacier Girl, a P-38F ditched on the ice of Greenland, flies again in Middlesboro, Kentucky. While the restoration and recovery of any old craft is interesting, Glacier Girl was pulled out from under almost 270 feet of ice. Her story, in words and pictures. (and oddball html.)
Kalakala.org: World-famous art-deco Seattle ferry (most recently an abandoned Alaskan shrimp factory) rescued from rusty oblivion. Gutenberg's earlier post about "ghost pictures" on the old ferry Kalakala sent me looking for more info on the vessel, which I now know was once the second most photographed object in the world, next to the Eiffel tower. Volunteers are now slowly restoring it near Gas Works Park. Cool.
The clock in the terminal at Grand Central has gone. Why do renovated public buildings always seem to lose so much character? Isn't it possible to meld the old with the new?
Gives a whole new poignancy to the term 'hosed'. Hearing about this sort of destruction always makes me feel like time is running out to see the world's wonders before they're gone.