Hello, and welcome to the new Casa de Lopez Adobe preservation blog! In July, Art Preservation Associates was awarded the project to turn the City of San Fernando’s beautiful Lopez Adobe into a functioning house museum opening to the public in 2013.
This blog will give you a glimpse behind the scenes, keep you up to date on how the project unfolds, and give you some insight into some of the interesting and fun things we uncover along the way.
But first, let us introduce ourselves: Art Preservation Associates is a small art conservation company based in Los Angeles. Art conservators are like art doctors, and we are responsible for the health and well being of artworks and artifacts in museums and private collections. See http://www.conservation-us.org/ for more information. Like doctors, art conservators have specialties. Art Preservation Associates has three practitioners, specializing in objects, paintings, and textiles; Irena Calinescu, Linnaea Saunders, and Cara Varnell. Because this project mostly involves objects and textiles, Irena and Cara are leading the team.
Re-opening the Lopez Adobe as a museum, however, requires more than the expertise of conservators. It requires a historian or curator to interpret the building and its contents—in other words, to develop the storyline. We are fortunate to have Paul Spitzzeri, the Deputy Director of the Homestead Museum in the City of Industry, as the project historian/curator. Paul is recognized as one of the leading authorities in the area on the history of early California.
Additionally, the Lopez Adobe has amassed a significant collection of historic documents, records of the history of the City of San Fernando and the families that lived here. These materials–written documents, letters, photographs, newspapers, etc.—are now part of the Lopez Adobe archives. Organizing and managing an archive like this takes the special skill of an archivist. Daryl Maxwell, an archivist and librarian with decades of experience, is charged with the task of bringing order to the Lopez archives.
Assisted by the Friends of the Lopez Adobe, the goal is to create a more accessible record of the past and one that will be available to interested researchers.
For instance, did you know the Lopez Adobe has its very own resident ghost? We’ve smelled his or her cigarette smoke in the upstairs hallway.