Much has happened with our major conservation project in the Reception Suite since our last update in April. After completing the cleaning of the ceiling decoration, the conservators sprayed a layer of stable, synthetic resin to preserve and protect the original surfaces. Then, on top of this barrier, they inpainted losses in the ochre-colored areas and applied 23-carat shell gold where it was missing.
Conservators are now working to finish cleaning the walls. After that is accomplished, the walls will be treated with the barrier resin and inpainting will begin where there are areas of loss or overpaint. Last week they removed the four canvas roundels of the cherubs for further cleaning and study. A paper conservator will supervise their reattachment to the walls.
Furnishings have been removed from the small room of the Suite; the magnificent Herter secretary cabinet is temporarily displayed in the Parlor. Preservation Carpenter Caleb Hemphill removed the chestnut shutters for cleaning and repair and new UV film has been installed on the window. Electricians will remove the gasolier next week. We also acquired new small scaffolding that will fit into this seven by six-foot space. Because this room had little exposure to coal soot from the heating system, it is much cleaner than the large room and the paint is virtually intact. The conservators will therefore use a more light-handed approach as they work to reveal Guidicini’s original artistry.
Check back soon for more updates or visit the Mansion to see for yourself this exciting project as it continues to unfold!