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Seeing in Different Ways: A Liz Magor Backpack Project
Seeing in Different Ways:
A Liz Magor Backpack Project

Why Paper Discolours (Part 2)
Why Paper Discolours (Part 2)

Why Paper Discolours (Part 1)
Why Paper Discolours (Part 1)

Mending a Tear in an Aboriginal Drum
Mending a Tear in an Aboriginal Drum

Distortions and Dimensional Changes
in Paper (Part 3)
Distortions and Dimensional Changes
in Paper (Part 3)

Distortions and Dimensional Changes
in Paper (Part 2)

Distortions and Dimensional Changes
in Paper (Part 1)

After treatment
Oscar Cahén: Innovative Conservation
for an Innovative Artist

Rigid Water Gels: New Treatment Options for Paper Conservators

Structural Remedies for Canvas Paintings

Organizing and Preserving Collections - Part 4: Digital-based Material

Organizing and Preserving Collections - Part 3: Photo-based Material

Organizing and Preserving Collections - Part 2: Paper-based Material

First Steps
Organizing and Preserving Collections - Part 1: The First Steps

Natural Dyes
The Use of Natural Dyes in Textile Conservation

A Relocation Project

Challenges of Preserving Contemporary Artwork

Preserve Your Investment through Art Conservation

A Project Completed: Heritage Preserved

Old and New Methods for Cleaning Paintings

I Can See Clearly Now – Or Can I? Part 2

I Can See Clearly Now – Or Can I?

The E.J. Hughes Mural: An Expanded Project

Is She or Is She Not an Emily

Treating Art with Sensitive Media

Malaspina Mural: An Update

For the Artist: Testing Your Materials

Conservator as Art Historian

Alum Sizing and the Art of W.J. Phillips

Treatment of an Elizabeth Keith Wood Block Print

Structural Treatment of an Emily Carr

The Treatment of a Monumental Wall Hanging

Changing Images

Preserving a Rare Record

Gold Leaf: Imitation and Genuine

The Case Against Canvas Backings

Heritage Colours: Research Discovers Original Colours

Lighting Your Art: Balancing Seeing and Protecting

The Double-Sided Emily Carr Painting

Choosing a Period Picture Frame

How to Identify a Picture Frame

Stretching Canvas and Restretching Artwork

Mounting Textiles

Aging Paintings:
Some Causes and Effects

Chine Collé Prints

What's Your Favourite Color?

Backing Removals

Rips, Holes and Tears

Filling in the Gaps

DIY – Preventative Care of Paintings

Frame it Right

Fire, Water and Smoke-Damaged Paintings

Inherent Vice

Saturated Problems:
A Water-Damaged Painting

Moldy Paper

Conserving Time

Conserving Paper: Dos and Don'ts

Repair of Textiles

Conserving Wood

Rescuing Endangered Murals

Repairing Acid-Matte Burn

Art Services & Materials
Exhibition Openings & Events

  Conservation Corner Back

Rescuing Endangered Murals

by Cheryle Harrison
Conservator, Pacific Conservators
Vancouver, BC

This is the second in a new series of articles about conservation written by professional conservators. We hope you will find them interesting, and welcome any comments, questions or suggestions you may have for us.

Throughout history it has been common to re-invent our architectural environments to make way for “modern” interpretations for our surroundings. Decorative art of earlier eras are lost, transformed or, become concealed treasures lying behind false walls. Our hidden art becomes our hidden history.

This article introduces one of my projects - the emergency retrieval of endangered murals re-discovered during the partial demolition of the Malaspina Hotel in Nanaimo, B.C. A chance removal of wall panelling revealed a figure painted by acclaimed B.C. landscape painter E.J. Hughes.

The members of the Western Canadian Brotherhood: E.J. Hughes. Orville Fisher and Paul Gorensen, painted the murals in 1938. Five murals depict regional landscapes and scenes of coastal discovery by explorers.

These murals were painted with house paint on walls constructed of concrete, brick or lathe and plaster. Some murals were later covered with decorators paint, additional walls and suspended ceilings.

The preparation for removing the murals included the application of layers of tissue and cheesecloth. The individual mural sections were "sandwiched" with foam layers and armatures for protection prior to cutting the mural away from the building. One mural painted on a concrete wall weighing nearly 10,000 kilos was safely retrieved. The mural sections were removed, crated and transported for storage.

The murals and I await the opportunity to accomplish the second and third stage of this project - the conservation and re-installation of the murals in a new exhibition site. A new "home" and funding is being sought. For further information contact Christine Meutzner, Nanaimo Community Archives, (250)753-4462.

© Cheryle A. Harrison

Next issue: A Treatment Song for the Tongass Island Raven totem pole.

Previous issue: Repairing Acid Mat Burn

For more information visit the FACTS (Fine Art Care and Treatment Standards) website at www.artfacts.org

 Fri, Feb 1, 2008