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It is with great sadness that I share Barry Bauman, the Founder of The Conservation Center, passed away on Saturday, February 5, 2022.
When I started working for Barry in 1989 at age 22, I was astonished by his intensely strong work ethic. I was consistently inspired by his stable patterned dedication toward his goals for what was then a small Chicago art preservation business. He was a driven entrepreneur who wanted to build something special. Barry would weave daily stories about his passions into the work environment. He often talked about the aspects of art and history that brought him to this industry -- for example, his utmost respect for the acumen of the Dutch Masters. Barry never aspired to be an artist himself. But I often stood in the background, witnessing him laboring away on a wonderfully executed painting -- and it made me realize he was living through the execution of that artist’s work. He loved what he did every day, and that incredible passion spanned many decades to come.
I learned so much during those years from Barry. He loved marketing and public speaking because it was his way of sharing why he was so invested in what he was doing. I was an artist, an introvert, and disliked speaking in public. He impacted my life when he shed light on why exposing what you are passionate about to others was just as significant as doing the day-to-day work. Why? Because it carried and spread a message. It brought exposure to what fascinated and inspired him. I slowly pushed and tested myself with his coaching and turned a corner to eventually become a public speaker and writer as well. I have Barry to thank for helping me through that challenge, with mentorship, like he often exhibited when teaching his talents to others.
Over the following few decades, I watched Barry fine-tune his way of making an impact on others. His charisma and engagement were fascinating to witness, and his loyalty to train and nurture others was ever-present, along with his endless drive that overflowed onto others daily.
As his amazing company grew, we began to dialog about what the future of this company’s legacy might look like. After years of hard work, he came to me one day and said he wanted to sell the company to me, and he was going to continue his passions outside of The Center. With Barry’s support and encouragement, I was able to buy the company with a small business loan in August of 2003 with the additional help of Norm Bobins of then LaSalle Bank, and the founding supporter and mentor of Barry’s – Marshall Field V.
Barry was a great mentor, even in the face of all our ups and downs when running a small art-related business. He gave so many employees a chance to grow and flourish throughout all those years. I think that time was priceless for many of us. Barry gave me the opportunity to take over this exceptional business he built through his years of dedication and hard work.
I am forever grateful to Barry as I walk through The Center each day and observe the incredible things this company and our staff have accomplished. A ritual I learned from Barry is to make my daily rounds and witness the magic of what is slowly transpiring on every easel, under every microscope, and the precious work by the hands of all the talented staff, all under the roof of this wonderful company he started.
I will always be humbled by the legacy of what he passed to me. I will never forget what all those days make up over a lifetime of effort, care, and peace gained from loving what you do.
It all began with Barry’s ideas, courage, and passion. We have treated thousands of rare, historical, and personal works of art and heirlooms for over 39 years now, and the magical team of The Conservation Center will continue to carry this extraordinary operation forward.
Barry’s endless number of hours staring into the canvases he was preserving remains a powerful endeavor we all will continue working on -- day after day. All those days, accumulatively, make our lives on this team pretty amazing.
Barry, may you rest in peace.
Farewell Dear Friend
Jane Freda Conroy Foley
Jane died peacefully at home on the 10th October 2021, with Inez, Clare and Fiona by her side. As loved as she was by her family, it is clear from messages since her death that she had friends who adored her all over the world, and she leaves a hole in hundreds of lives.
Since graduating from City & Guilds Art School in London in 1996, Jane built an astonishing career conserving sculptures, objects and architectural artifacts across the globe.
Many of us in the conservation field have been deeply touched by Jane's contributions and friendship. She was generous with her knowledge and expertise and drew on her own education to mentor and advance the profession.
To honor her legacy, please consider making a donation in memory of Jane Foley to City & Guilds Art School London or to Pancreatic Cancer UK.
Copying the following links into your browser will allow you to donate:
City & Guilds Art School
Pancreatic Cancer UK
To view the Obituaries :
"Sleep with the angels dear friend" Miss you already!
It is with a sad heart that one of our own has passed ... Frank Zuccari, Head of Art Conservation at the Art Institute of Chicago Museum (retired in 2018).
See articles in the Chicago Sun Times and the Chicago Tribune.
Our Deepest Symphathy to the Zuccari Family.
He made a big impact in the conservation field and we will miss him dearly.
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