After a thorough dry-cleaning of the room’s walls and ceiling, (as much of the painted decoration is water-based), the next phase of the major conservation project in the Mansion’s Parlor looms near: the application of a protective barrier varnish on the original 1860’s paint to protect and preserve it for decades to come.
Once this synthetic barrier is applied, work to restore failing plaster and gilded elements, areas of paint loss and water damage (visible in the image to the right) begins in earnest and will provide a more striking visual transformation of the space.
The Parlor is the largest room in the house and poses some unique challenges as it was used as a meeting space in the Mansion’s early years as an institution. There were several campaigns throughout the 1940s, 50s, and 60s to touch-up the room’s “trouble spots,” making it difficult for conservators to discern the original palette in some areas. This may necessitate more corrective surface work to come during the in-painting process to allow an authentic representation of artist Giuseppe Guidicini and Ruggles Morse’s original intent.