"[Graphic Conservation] has been instrumental in helping Northwestern Law preserve its large collection of historical documents and works of art on paper. We highly recommend their services to other institutions wishing to preserve their history."

Dean J. William Elwin, Professor John P. HeinzNorthwestern University School of Law

About Us

Situated in Chicago’s South Loop, Graphic Conservation Company operates a state-of-the-art, 8,000 square foot lab. Our collection of specialized tools and equipment enables us to treat paper items suffering from many different types of damage. In our lab, we are able to treat works on paper of any size, from miniature ephemera to oversize artwork. With an extensive library of antique papers and boards, our company also has the unique ability to match repairs when appropriate.

Our People

  • Russ Maki

    President

    Russ took ownership of Graphic Conservation in 2009. Russ attended Roosevelt University, DePaul University and holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. Prior to joining the company, Russ held a variety of leadership roles in the paper industry. He currently is adjunct professor in the Science & Math Department at Columbia College Chicago, where he teaches the capstone course in the Art & Materials Conservation Program.

  • Christina Marusich

    Head Conservator

    Christina is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation [AIC] and an acting member of the Chicago Area Conservation Group. Christina joined the company in 1987 while completing her B.F.A. in Printmaking and Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Christina’s background includes fine arts as well as chemistry.

  • Sharon Paschke

    Conservator

    Sharon is a Professional Associate of the American Institute of Conservation [AIC] and an acting member of the Chicago Area Conservation Group. Sharon joined Graphic Conservation in 1996 after attending the University of Kansas and DePaul University in Chicago.

  • Lauren Luciano

    Conservation Technician

    Lauren joined the company in 2011 while completing her B.F.A. in printmaking and painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

  • Maggie Callahan

    Manager of Client Services

    Maggie joined the company in 2012 after completing her B.A. in Art Business, with a focus in Ceramics, from Elmhurst College.

  • Leslie Walthers

    Conservation Intern

    Leslie Walthers holds a B.A. in Art Theory and Practice from Northwestern University. Her background includes work in the library and museum fields, and she is particularly interested in book conservation.

  • Craig Kamrath

    Conservation Intern

    Craig holds a B.F.A. in Photography from Columbia College Chicago. He recently completed a second B.A. in Art & Materials Conservation from Columbia College and at Lorenzo de’ Medici Institute in Florence. He has particular interest in photographic processes and prints.

Lab Tour

Our History

  • 1921

    RR Donnelley & Sons Company and president T.E. Donnelley form the Extra Bindery Department under the guidance of C.G. Littell and Reverend James Todd.

  • 1923

    The Extra Bindery Department begins advertising its services in "The Lakeside News," the company magazine. Well-known bookbinder Alfred de Sauty comes from England to manage the Department.

  • 1925

    "Extra Binding at the Lakeside Press" is published, illustrating the department's services and capabilities. Three years later, "A Rod for the Back of the Binder," an important document in the field of specialty binding, is published.

  • 1935

    Mr. de Sauty retires, and Harold Tribolet is appointed manager. As he leaves, Mr. de Sauty emphasizes the importance of engaging in paper restoration and conservation work.

  • 1954

    "All the King's Horses" is published, describing many of the department's interesting projects and offering guidance on the proper care of books and works on paper.

  • 1964

    One of twenty-five known original letterpress copies of the Declaration of Independence is restored along with original prints of the Articles of Confederation and the U.S. Constitution

  • 1966

    A 32-page booklet, "The Million Charms of Empress Shotoku" is published, describing many of the department's recent bindings and restoration projects.

  • 1970

    The Extra Bindery Department changes its name to the Graphic Conservation Department, reflecting the increased focus on conservation work.

  • 1982

    RR Donnelley closes the department and its managers William Crusius and Robert Weinberg form a new company dedicated to paper conservation. The Graphic Conservation Department thereby becomes Graphic Conservation Company.

  • 1995

    Graphic Conservation Company performs a series of conservation treatments to one of five copies of the Gettysburg Address.

  • 2011

    Graphic Conservation Company celebrates its 90th anniversary. During this year, the company performs a series of complex conservation treatments on the House Resolution for a Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.