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Eli Wilner partners with Lyndhurst to restore Jay Gould's Grand Picture Gallery
A rare survivor of the 19th century, The Lyndhurst Picture Gallery includes finely framed masterpieces by Europe’s leading academic painters, many in place for more than 130 years

NEW YORK, NY.- Eli Wilner & Company has been chosen by Lyndhurst Mansion to collaborate with its staff in restoring and rehanging the estate’s grand Picture Gallery. The Wilner staff will restore frames that have sustained damage over time and replace those on paintings that have lost their original frames and have been in storage for years. Wilner will also assist with the rehanging of pictures, maintaining the multi-tiered Victorian style of hanging that has been documented in photographs since the 1870s but will bring many of the best works in the collection to eye level.

“While Lyndhurst’s architectural quality is well recognized, very few realize that Lyndhurst also has an exquisite collection of 19th Century paintings,” noted Howard Zar, Executive Director of Lyndhurst. “The restoration of Lyndhurst’s grand Picture Gallery will allow visitors to experience fine works by some of the finest European and American artists and better understand the evolution of American taste during the Gilded Age.”

The three storey picture gallery is the piece de resistance of Lyndhurst, the iconic 19th century mansion designed by Alexander Jackson Davis in 1838-1842. The room is set with an extensive suite of Davis-designed furniture and a massive stained glass window overlooking the Hudson River that has been attributed to Louis Comfort Tiffany as a very early work. The extensive collection of finely framed paintings assembled by railroad baron Jay Gould and his daughters include works by Gustave Courbet, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Theodore Rousseau, Charles Daubigny, Jean-Leon Gerome, Jean Beraud and two important works by Bouguereau.

This is not the first time that Wilner and Lyndhurst have collaborated on restoration. In 2006, Lyndhurst restored its magnificent parlor to its original 1842 appearance. While much of the original furniture remained in the collection, the two Gothic Revival pier mirrors above the parlor mantels had long been removed and replaced by examples manufactured by the Herter Brothers for an 1882 redecoration. Using period photographs from 1870, the Wilner craftsmen were able to craft exact replicas of the lost Alexander Jackson Davis originals. Read more on Eli Wilner & Company’s gift of these over mantle mirrors and their other philanthropic work here.

“Our current work at Lyndhurst is funded, in part, through a network of generous clients that help subsidize up to 50% of the costs on framing projects for significant works of art in museums,” noted Eli Wilner, president of Wilner & Co. “Often, these works cannot be exhibited properly because they lack appropriate framing and many such works sit in storage out of public view just for this reason.” Lyndhurst joins such other prestigious Wilner clients as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Smithsonian, The Cleveland Museum and The White House in benefitting from their expertise in restoring and replicating period frames.

Lyndhurst mansion is considered by many architectural historians to be the most significant American house of the 19th century. Designed by Alexander Jackson Davis--the Frank Lloyd Wright of the 19th century--in 1838, the house has been owned by New York City mayor William Paulding, Jr., merchant George Merritt, and railroad tycoon Jay Gould. It was donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1961 by Gould’s youngest daughter, Anna, Duchess of Talleyrand. Because the house was always a country residence, it was sold, over time, with virtually all its contents and the mansion is fortunate to have retained the large majority of period decoration from each of its owners. Public tours of the mansion and surrounding grounds are offered seasonally May through September. Lyndhurst has also served as a location for filming of major motion pictures and the Lyndhurst picture gallery was a primary location in the filming of the recently released Warner Brothers film “Winter’s Tale.”

The Eli Wilner & Company gallery and studio staff are delighted to continue their partnership with Lyndhurst Mansion and to be able to include them on their impressive list of historical framing projects for public and private institutions across the United States.

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