A Conversation with
Nadia Ghannam,
Painting Conservator
– Arnold Blanch's Hervey White in his Studio
and Edmund B. Rolfe's Landscape

Thursday, September 29 at 7 pm

Enthusiasm for the rarely-seen Fine Art Collection of the Historical Society of Woodstock is growing along with the Historical Society's resolve to restore as much artwork as possible to its original glory. Two recently-restored paintings, Portrait of Hervey White (c.1926) by Arnold Blanch and Landscape (c.1914) by Edmund B. Rolfe are attracting attention in their renewed resplendence at the Eames House Museum, 20 Comeau Drive. The conservation project was supported by an award from the NYSCA/ Greater Hudson Heritage Foundation.

On Thursday, September 29 at 7 pm, the fine art conservator who achieved the remarkable restoration, Nadia Ghannam of Mount Kisco, and American art historian Bruce Weber will give a presentation via Zoom. Bruce will discuss the works' historical and aesthetic importance, followed by Nadia's description of her treatment of the two pictures (and their antique frames). Their discourse will be followed by a conversation with the audience. To register and receive a link to the the free Zoom event, email: historicalsocietyofwoodstockny@gmail.com.

Nadia Ghannam has over 20 years of experience in both museum labs and in private practice as a Conservator of Art. Currently she is a consulting conservator for the DIA Foundation and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, focusing on both contemporary and historical works of art. She holds a BFA degree from Cornell University and an MA in Art Conservation from Queen's University. She has trained and worked in European and North American Conservation laboratories including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Academy of Design and the Historiches Museum of Basel, Switzerland. Her background in fine arts, art history, chemistry, and knowledge about paint materials both historical and modern, along with a lifelong love of travel, have informed her skills and continued interest in the field of art conservation and preservation. Nadia lives and works in the Hudson Valley Region of New York with her family. When not working on paintings she enjoys making pottery, gardening and being outdoors.


Dr. Weber has served as a curator at various institutions, including the Norton Museum of Art, the National Academy Museum, and the Museum of the City of New York, and has published widely n the field of American art. He has been focusing on the historic Woodstock art colony for the last several years as a writer, lecturer, and curator. Last autumn he curated the exhibition of Tomas Penning's sculpture at the Woodstock School of Art. To see some of his recent writings on the art colony, go to www.learningwoodstockartcolony.com. Dr. Weber also authored an essay on Clarence Bolton's life and career that is available for purchase in the shop of the Historical Society of online at www.historicalsocietyofwoodstock.org.

The portrait of Hervey White of Arnold Blanch (1896-1968) is one of the major representations of the writer and founder of the early 20th century Byrdcliffe and Maverick art colonies, located in the Woodstock/West Hurley area. White is pictured seated on a couch in his still-existing cottage of Maverick Road. Upon founding the Maverick in 1905, White took on the life of a part time farmer while writing novels and entertaining. He offered houses to kindred spirits who paid modest rents when they were able to. He built the simple rustic cottages with his own limited funds, and at times with his own hands.


Woodstock was one of the great centers of landscape painting in America in the early 20th century and the work by Edmund R. Rolfe is an exemplary painting of this period. The artist came to Woodstock in the early years of the twentieth century to study in Birge Harrison's painting class at the Art Students League's Woodstock School of Landscape Painting. Under the influence of Harrison and John F. Carlson, a major school of landscape painting developed in the town initially inspired by the aesthetics of Tonalism.

Arnold Blanch's Hervey White in his Studio

Edmund B. Rolfe's Landscape

The NYSCA/GHNN Conservation Grant Treatment Program is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation has provided additional dedicated support for the 


The Historical Society of Woodstock's Eames House Museum at 20 Comeau Drive is open Saturdays and Sundays from 1-5 pm (except Sept. 25) until Oct. 30. The current exhibition, Making Woodstock Home, Artist William Arlt, features previously unseen paintings and other creations from an accomplished Woodstock artist who didn't exhibit his work although he studied with John Carlson and taught at the Woodstock School of Landscape Painting. The exhibit was conceived by the artist's grandson, Lewis Arlt, Vice-President of the Historical Society's Board of Trustees, and was curated by Deborah Heppner.