“Shortly after arriving at the Legion of Honor to take my place on the Salon Doré conservation team, I agreed with the project’s chief conservator that more Master Gilders were needed to complete the large scale project by its spring 2014 deadline. Our first call was to Nancy Thorn, and when she agreed to join the project I was elated. I felt confident that her presence would assure the project’s success.

I was proven right. The depth of Nancy’s experience on large-scale art and architectural gilding projects ultimately resulted in several important advances over the course of treatment. Technically, Nancy developed a tool that enabled whole sheets of gold leaf to be laid intact with relative ease, and this was essential to the visually pleasing restoration of the rooms eye-level column bases. Next, Nancy brought to the project her ability to work quickly without sacrificing qualify which enabled her to produce in volume. On a large job, this is a very valuable skill. Finally, her ability to visualize the end result helped us resolve numerous aesthetic questions, and the toning strategy that pulled the many carved and gilded room elements together into a harmonious whole was drawn largely from her experience.

Nancy has abundant artistic talent and a joyous personality to back it up. While Nancy is normally a “take charge” person, in this instance she proved herself a consummate team player possessing all the wisdom and experience needed to handle difficult people and situations that inevitably pop up on any complex job. After being in the Salon Doré pressure cooker with Nancy for 8 months, I can attest that now more than ever Nancy remains my go-to person for any gilding project worthy of her participation.”

– Deborah Bigelow, Gilded Objects Conservator, Beacon, N.Y.

“Thank you Nancy for helping us make the Salon project a resounding success, we couldn’t have done it without you. I appreciated the great effort you put into making the team function and follow instructions. I hope the junior members took full advantage of working with someone of your skills and experience. You have my great appreciation and personal gratitude.”

– Lesley Bone, Head Objects Conservator, FAMSF, S.F., CA