Caring for Art
Irek Szelag combines a chemistry master’s with a lifelong love of art to restore historic oil paintings.
By Tyler Bierman
Photography by Colin Miller/Strauss Peyton
Today Irek Szelag is a thriving local artist and the name in art conservation in St. Louis. He’s owned his own business since 1990 and has worked with private owners and museums to make their prized pieces shine; all while somehow finding time to paint hundreds of his own masterpieces.
It all started in Poland with a lifelong passion for fine art. However, Szelag’s story took a turn from many artists’ journey in 1969 with the first moon landing, an event that inspired him to earn his master’s degree in chemistry from the Technical University of Lodz.
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