Julian Baumgartner: The Man Behind The Canvas
To be entranced by the methodological swabbing of a painted surface, uncovering years of debris and dust, and the soft scraping of dirt, delivered by a soothing and hushed voice: art restoration videos could be your next ASMR deep dive.
The person behind these videos is none other than fine art restorer — Julian Baumgartner.
His YouTube channel has amassed millions of views with its satisfying soundtrack of the intricacies that go into fine art conservation.
Every video captures the detailed methodology, and meticulous hand needed to go into restoring works that pass through his studio, Baumgartner Fine Art Restoration (BFAR.)
Find out more about the man behind the canvas and the Baumgartner Fine Art Restoration Studio. We’ll also cover his famed YouTube channel, some of his most iconic restoration videos, and other interesting facts about this YouTube star.
Meet Julian Baumgartner
Julian Baumgartner was born on 24 July 1980 in the United States.
He is the second generational owner of the Baumgartner Fine Arts Studio (BFAR) founded by his father, Rene Agass Baumgartner, in 1978. He also started a popular eponymous YouTube channel.
Growing up in his father’s studio — The Baumgartner Fine Arts Studio, art was always a core part of his life. He pursued a BFA in painting and printmaking from Purchase College in New York (SUNY). With these skills, he began a long apprenticeship under his father.
From 2000 to 2011, Julian learned the business and techniques of fine art conservation. Four years later, Baumgartner decided to make a restoration video despite having no firsthand filming or editing knowledge His goals were to promote the studio and draw attention to art conservation as a whole — what became of this is beyond what he could have imagined.
Next, we’ll take a look at the history and philosophy behind the Baumgartner Restoration Studio.
The Baumgartner Fine Art Restoration Studio: History and Philosophy
Julian Baumgartner’s father, R Agass Baumgartner, was born in Switzerland in 1948.
R. Agass attended The Luzern Academy of Art in Switzerland and the Ecole Des Beaux Arts in France. He majored in studio art and art history.
He acquired his art conversation skills by working and apprenticing at the Museum of Art and History in Switzerland in the late 70s. A few years later, he freelanced in mural and 16th–19th-century easel painting restoration and conservation.
Julian Baumgartner became the primary proprietor after his father passed away in 2011.
Today, the Baumgartner Restoration Studio is the oldest conservation studio in Chicago.
The philosophy and goals of the Baumgartner Fine Arts Studio is to:
- Make minimal alterations to the original artwork, preserving the artists’ intentions.
- Use methodologies that’ll satisfy the client and protect the old painting.
- Use high-quality, professional materials and techniques that global museums employ.
- Ensure the work done on the canvas is fully reversible and abides by the AIC Code of Ethics.
In addition to private clients, the studio works with small museums, universities, art galleries, collectors, and dealers.
Now, let’s dive into the Baumgartner Fine Art Restoration Studio’s YouTube channel and Julian’s rise to fame.
The Baumgartner Restoration YouTube Channel
Julian started the studio’s YouTube channel, Baumgartner Restoration, in 2016.
The videos showcase how Julian cleans and reverses the damage done to pieces including oil paintings and sculptures.
The Baumgartner Restoration Youtube channel has achieved some impressive statistics. The channel has amassed 1.7 million subscribers as of Oct 2022. Julian has also earned more than 139 million views for his art conservation and painting restoration lessons and studio art paint throughs.
How did conservator Julian Baumgartner become one of the most popular YouTubers?
Thanks to his calming voice, the gentle sounds of the restoration process, and unique camera angles, Julian’s videos have become a favorite amongst the ASMR and art conservation YouTube audience.
Additionally, the world of art, especially art conservation, is not something an ordinary person understands. His videos reveal a private world of art history that people can peek into while being auditorily and visually satisfied.
Besides, the YouTube audience typically pays attention to how creative people work through their practice.
A popular YouTuber with similarities to Baumgartner is Jamie Jo and her YouTube channel “BananaJamana.” Bob Ross, who hosted “The Joy of Painting” in the 80s and 90s, has also become a popular choice on YouTube for relaxing painting videos.
What are some of the most iconic Baumgartner Restoration Youtube videos?
Baumgartner’s Most Popular Videos
Baumgartner’s videos range in length from short, sped-up clips to long, drawn-out explanations of the process. He also has a number of different series that include Baumgartner working with his own apprentice and then discussing the tools and methodologies in art conservation.
In these YouTube videos, we get a closer look at how Julian reverses the damage done to iconic pieces, bringing art back to life and color.
Below are Baumgartner’s trending YouTube videos by viewership:
1. The Restoration of Ave Maria, Narrated Version (6.5 million views)
2. Old Master Painting Conservation (5.5 million views)
3. Conservation of The Assassination of Archimedes, Narrated Version (5 million views)
4. Restoration of Mother Mary, Narrated Version (4.8 million views)
5. Restoration of an Emma Gaggiotti Portrait Narrated (4.5 million views)
6. Ex Multis Ad Unum – Restoring A Split Painting – Narrated (4.4 million views)
7. Big Isn’t Better, It’s Just Better; The Restoration of St. Francis (4.3 million views)
8. Scraping, Scraping, Scraping Or A Slow Descent Into Madness. The Conservation of Mathias J. Alten (3.8 million views)
9. The Conservation of George Inness’ “The Roman Campagna” (3.5 million views)
10. The Restoration of Guy Wiggins’ Frame in ASMR (3.3 million views)
Other Interesting Facts about Julian Baumgartner
Here are three other interesting facts about this fine art restorer:
1. What Other Social Media Platforms is Julian Baumgartner On?
Julian Baumgartner also has an Instagram page (@baumgartnerrestoration) with 308K followers. His recent posts include snippets of his restoration videos and give you a sneak peek into the life of a restoration artist.
His Facebook page (Baumgartner Fine Art Restoration) features similar recent posts and has received over 146K likes.
In addition to his social media accounts, Baumgartner also has a Patreon page — a common concept for content creators.
This trending platform lets Julian’s fans access special features by paying a subscription fee. If you visit his Patreon, there are two membership levels — one to contribute $4 a month to support his work and one that is $9 a month to access additional resources.
2. What’s The Controversy Around Baumgartner?
Despite being one of the most public names in the art conservatory discussion online, there is substantial controversy revolving around Baumgartner’s work.
Some conservators criticize Baumgartner for what they claim are heavy-handed and outdated methods of cleaning artwork.
Because Baumgartner was taught by his father, who was most familiar with the practices in the late 70s, several techniques used in the oldest conservation studio in Chicago are controversial in modern art conservancy.
One of the most commonly noted examples is his use of different solvents, which may dry out the paint and lead to warping and other issues.
3. How Much Does Baumgartner Restoration Cost?
According to the late R. Agass Baumgartner (the original founder of the studio), a simple cleaning of a 22-by-30-inch old painting can cost $350–$400 and take around a week to complete. Complex oil painting projects can take up to eight months.
You can get a quote for your project via the Baumgartner Fine Art Restoration website.
While art restoration is expensive, restoring a piece of art can increase its value.
In an ideal world, It’s a great idea to buy fine art pieces. But a more innovative and cost-effective way to invest in expensive art would be to invest in shares of these masterpieces.
What is Masterworks?
Masterworks is an art investment platform that lets you invest in fractional shares of investment-grade art.
In fact, Baumgartner’s Restoration channel recently featured Masterworks as the first platform making it possible to invest in multimillion-dollar blue-chip artists like Andy Warhol, Banksy, and more.
With prices starting at $20 per share, investing in your favorite artworks has never been easier.
Here’s a quick overview of how the platform works:
- The research team identifies which artist markets have potential.
- The acquisitions team then locates a piece they believe could appreciate in value and purchases it.
- Masterworks files an offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to securitize the artwork.
- After you’ve invested in shares, all you need to do is wait. Masterworks can hold the painting for 3–10 years. If the piece is sold at a profit, you’ll receive pro rata returns after fees are subtracted (1.5% annual management fees plus 20% of the profit from the sale of the artwork).
- Alternatively, you can opt to sell your shares on the secondary market.
Get started by completing Masterworks’ membership application.
See important Reg A disclosures: Masterworks.com/cd