Pinehurst Restored – First No. 2, now Donald Ross himself

Art Conservator Shane Bufmeyer (right) and an assistant remove the Donald Ross portrait from Pinehurst's Resort Club on Thursday. The portrait will be restored this month.

Art Conservator Shane Bufmeyer (right) and an assistant remove the Donald Ross portrait from Pinehurst’s Resort Club on Thursday. The portrait will be restored this month.

Donald Ross’ famed Pinehurst No. 2 got its restoration a couple of years ago.

It’s his turn this time.

You see Ross’ touches everywhere at Pinehurst. There’s even the restaurant at Pinehurst Resort that bears his name – the Donald Ross Grill. (Fun Fact: In addition to golf course designer and head professional, Donald Ross also served as Grill Manager during part of his tenure at Pinehurst. Multitasker.)

And typically, he’s watching over you in a close-to-lifesize portrait.

But for the next few weeks you may notice something different about the Grill.

A blank space remains for the time being at Pinehurst's Donald Ross Grill while the portrait of the famed golf course architect is restored this month.

A blank space remains for the time being at Pinehurst’s Donald Ross Grill while the portrait of the famed golf course architect is restored this month.

You know, like that 4×6-foot blank space on the wall.

The 1971 Anthony F. Weddington portrait of the legendary golf course architect is in the careful hands of art conservator Shane Bufmeyer for the next few weeks, getting some much-needed R & R – Retouching & Restoration.

“It’s not in terrible shape – there are no tears and it’s not like the canvas has big holes in it,” Bufmeyer says of the portrait, “but it does have some water damage and needs work.

“It’s just time for a facelift.”

As Bufmeyer and an assistant removed the portrait from the Grill on Thursday, long water marks streaming down the length of the canvas became visible in the sunlight. “Apparently there was a planter above it – above the lamp – once upon a time,” says Bufmeyer, whose grandfather taught him the trade. “There’s clearly evidence of that.”

Just how much work needs to be done on the portrait remains to be seen until Bufmeyer can get it into his shop.

“All of these projects are the same, but all of them are different, too,” he says. “There are certain things we have to do with every work like this, but you do have to play detective.”

The Donald Ross portrait that adorns the wall of the Pinehurst restaurant that bears his name is removed for restoration.

The Donald Ross portrait that adorns the wall of the Pinehurst restaurant that bears his name is removed for restoration.

That means varying degrees of cleaning, of retouching, or, if needed, the relining of original brushstrokes, and adding varnish. The project may take two weeks, or it may take four, depending on the amount of restoration is needed.

Fear not, however. Mr. Ross is in careful hands.

“A piece this large and this important, I’ll close down my shop for the next few weeks,” Bufmeyer says. “I don’t want anything else coming in while I focus on this piece.”

Reservations

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