Spring has teased us here in Aspen, with bright warm days and birds singing their thanks for sunshine. And then it gosh darn snowed last night and, despite my newly-insulated walls, I’m shivering in my foundation and feeling just plain grumpy. Thankfully, word (and photos!) came from Philadelphia yesterday about the progress thus far in restoring the portrait of my beloved history crush, Mrs. Ella Stallard! The news has positively cheered me up, despite the seasonal affective disorder that is so clearly messing with my mood.

The fine folks at Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) shared these images showing various techniques they are using to restore Ella’s crayon photograph portrait. Photograph Conservator Rachel Wetzel is treating the piece with blotter washing and inpainting.


In my eyes, she hardly needed beautification, but from the photos I can tell that she’ll return to Aspen more beautiful than a spring day! I know I’m not the only one anxious for her return, the AHS board and staff and the generous supporters of this project, First Western Trust and Denver Foundation Greenwood Fund and partners Art Forward, are eager to re-install Ella in the Wheeler/Stallard Museum, where her portrait will help tell the story of the house and the people who lived there, as well as the history of the “quiet years” in Aspen.

Signing off for now to return to reminding myself that spring is just around the corner…

(Archive Building)

The “Eye of the Archive” blog post series, authored by A.B. (personified AHS Archive Building), offers an insider’s glimpse into the goings-on at Aspen Historical Society. Tune in for posts about the Collection, restoration projects, exhibit tid-bits, news around town, and more.

AHS began raising the funds necessary to restore the artifact in 2017, and has received generous donations towards the project from First Western Trust and the Denver Foundation Greenwood Fund, as well as shipping support from Art Forward. For information about supporting this effort, contact Development Director Kelly May at 970.925.3721 or kmay@aspenhistory.org