Leonora was born in
Atlanta, Georgia in 1957 the daughter of Margaret and Eugene Okarma, who
founded the renowned Okarma Jones Gallery. She lived in Atlanta until the age
of ten, and in 1970, Leonora’s family took a “classic” grand tour of Europe and
England. It was during this visit that the family discovered Brobury House in
Herefordshire, where her father moved the family two years later. Leonora
graduated from Bedgebury Park boarding school in Kent and then was one of the
first girls to graduate in 1979 from the 900-year-old Hereford Cathedral
School. She then began a five-year apprenticeship in the family business: Art
and Restoration. She now has 25 years experience to draw on.
Not only is she trained in oil restoration, but she
specializes in paper-based items such as watercolors, maps and prints.
Leonora’s experience is quite varied. The smallest piece she has restored is a
two-inch square etching, and the largest is a map fourteen feet long. The
earliest item she ever worked on was a map dating from 1482!
She does extensive
research to assure the accuracy of her restoration. As a trained art historian,
she is very sensitive to authenticity. When necessary she can make and grind
her own paint to match the original paint on a piece of art. One item she was
asked to restore was an illuminated sheepskin manuscript from the Saudi House
of Fauod. All of the illumination had been rubbed off with the exception of a
small section that was about two inches square. She had to match the paint and
colors for the entire piece from that small section. The client was delighted
with the final product.(see this piece on our Hand Coloring Page here.)
In 1991 she became a full partner with her father, Eugene
Okarma, at Brobury House Gallery in England.Two years later, at the age of 35,
she and her husband, David Weaver, moved into the family’s country house, and
took on the management of the art gallery and all the estate’s businesses. For
the next eight years she managed the Brobury House estate: the Art gallery, the
House as a Bed and Breakfast, the gardens, and two self-catering cottages. In
2001, after the death of her husband in 1993 and Eugene Okarma in 1996, it was
decided to sell Brobury House and close the gallery. The contents of the
Gallery, along with Leonora, moved to Decatur, Georgia, an interesting, older,
close-in community in the Atlanta metropolitan area. After 20 years in England,
Leonora wanted to give Atlanta a try and has now opened a conservation studio.
Leonora Okarma Weaver will offer the same high quality art
restoration services in her native country as she did for many years in
England. She enjoys working with gallery owners, private collectors and antique dealers.
Leonora is a
member of the Institute for Paper Conservation in England, The American Institute
of Conservation (AIC) and a member of SERCA.