Julian Baumgartner: The Man Behind The Canvas 

Micaela Preble
August 31, 2022

To be entranced by the methodological swabbing of a painted surface, uncovering years of debris and dust, the soft scraping of dirt, delivered by a soothing and hushed voice: art restoration videos could be your next ASMR deep dive. 

The man behind these videos is none other than conservator Julian Baumgartner. His YouTube channel has amassed millions of views with its satisfying soundtrack of the intricacies that go into art conservation. Baumgartner’s videos capture the detailed methodology, and meticulous hand needed to go into restoring works that pass through his studio, Baumgartner Fine Art Restoration. 

Join us in learning more about the man behind the canvas. 

Who Is Julian Baumgartner? 

Julian Baumgartner is the face behind The Baumgartner Fine Arts Studio and an eponymous YouTube channel based in Chicago, Illinois. The studio was founded in 1978 by his late father, R Agass Baumgartner, a Swiss immigrant. 

Growing up in his father’s studio, art was always a core part of his life. He pursued a BFA in painting and printmaking from Purchase College in New York. With these skills, he began a long apprenticeship under his father. 

From 2000 to 2011, Julian learned the business and techniques of art conservation. Four years later, Baumgartner decided to make a video of restoration, despite having no firsthand knowledge of filming or editing. His goal was to promote the studio and art conservation as a whole; what became of this is beyond what he could have imagined. 

How Art Became ASMR 

With over 1.6 million subscribers, there is no doubt people are fascinated by Baumgartner’s content. The ASMR community has shifted trends in audio-visual content.

Additionally, the world of art, especially art conservation, is not something that many people have a concept of. His videos reveal a private world and history people can peek into while also being auditorily and visually satisfying to watch and hear. 

Beyond that, there is a long history of watching engaged; creative people work through their practice. An example with a lot of similarities to Baumgartner is Bob Ross and his television series, “The Art of Painting.” Watching someone knowledgeable do their craft and be creative can be relaxing and educational.

Baumgartner’s Patreon 

Aside from the Youtube channel, Baumgartner also has a Patreon page. A common concept for content creators, Patreon is an opportunity for fans of the channel to pay a subscription fee to access special features. 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. 

Controversy With 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 in cleaning artworks. 

Because Baumgartner was taught by his father, who was most familiar with the practices in the late 70s, several of the practices are controversial in modern art conservancy. One of the examples most commonly noted is his use of different solvents, which may dry out the paint and lead to warping and other issues down the line. 

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 videos, we get a closer look at the work done to bring art back to life and color. Below are Baumgartner’s most popular YouTube videos by viewership. 

  1. The Restoration of Ave Maria, Narrated Version – 6.4 million 
  1. Old Master Painting Conservation – 5.5 million
  1. Conservation of The Assassination of Archimedes, Narrated Version – 5 million 
  1. Restoration of Mother Mary, Narrated Version – 4.8 million 
  1. Restoration of an Emma Gaggiotto Portrait Narrated – 4.5 Million 

Invest in Art With Masterworks 

If you yourself are someone interested in not just watching art, but buying it? Learn more about how you can begin building your own masterpiece collection online with Masterworks!

Masterworks was recently featured on Baumgartner Restoration’s channel as the first platform

making it possible to invest in multimillion-dollar blue-chip artists like Andy Warhol, Banksy, and more. 

We have the industry-leading research and acquisition team using proprietary data and art market expertise to curate a collection of iconic works of Contemporary art. The next step is simple — click below to begin. 

This material is provided for informational and educational purposes only.  It is not intended to be investment advice and should not be relied on to form the basis of an investment decision. See important Regulation A disclosures at masterworks.io/cd  


Micaela Preble
Micaela is an NYC-based art content writer covering art investing, art news, and art historical content. Micaela graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History with a minor in communication arts. During her time at GSU she was a member of The Design Group (DG) and Student Art League (SAL) while also actively participating in curating and volunteering at the Center for Art and Theatre.