shopify site analytics

Lee Mansion Wallpaper Conservation

October 2005  –  June 2006  Lee Mansion wallpaper restoration 2

Conservation and preservation of original 18th-century English wallpapers that remarkably survive in place in the Lee Mansion was accomplished in 2005-6, thanks to two grant awards from the National Endowment for the Arts Save America’s Treasures program, matched by the Getty Foundation. The 4 sections of the hand-painted mural papers will serve as a pilot project for the rest of the stair-hall papers which will need to be removed, treated and lined once sufficient funding is secured.  $500,000 in additional grants will be required.

Lee Mansion wallpaper

Lee Mansion wallpaper restoration

Lee Mansion wallpaper restoration 3The work was accomplished over nine months by five conservators with Studio TKM of Somerville, Massachusetts, one of the best qualified conservation teams anywhere.  They removed and treated four panels of the rare hand-painted mural papers in the second-floor stair-hall. More of those papers will need to be conserved at a later date, pending additional funding.

Lee Mansion wallpaper restoration 4 Lee Mansion wallpaper 2On the third floor, block-printed wallpapers with delightful Chinese scenes were also conserved. The latter are very rare in their own right, since they are the only English ‘Chinoiserie’ wallpapers in either America, or apparently England as well, to survive on the walls of their original home.

Lee Mansion restoration wallpaper 6

Lee Mansion restoration wallpaper 7

The fragile papers were carefully removed from the original plaster walls using steam, moisture, and delicate tools such as scalpels. They were then transported to a studio near Boston.

Lee Mansion wallpaper restoration 8

 

The surface pigments were stabilized with a gel consolidant, and tears were carefully mended using Japanese paper, heat, and special adhesives. The papers were also reinforced by lining them with non-tearable Japanese paper using wheat starch paste  In-painting (painting small areas by the conservators to match the original design) was done to small areas of paint or paper loss.

Lee Mansion wallpaper restoration 9To more safely secure the 18th-century papers to the walls and to facilitate more effective adherence, the original plaster walls were also lined with paper, and also with a layer of fabric as a buffer.

Lee Mansion wallpaper restoration 10

Before the walls were lined, the plaster was inspected by Andrew Ladygo,  a national authority on historic plaster from Manchester, Massachusetts, who has worked at many historic sites around the country, including the U.S. Capitol. The plaster was in sound condition.

Lee Mansion wallpaper restoration 12

Now, the fragile original papers are no longer in contact with the original plaster, which responds to the climate differently than the 238-year-old linen-based wallpaper.

Lee Mansion wallpaper restoration photo 13Under the wallpapers in both locations, several inscriptions written in pencil on the plaster were discovered. On the second floor (on wall pictured at left), Thomas Pitman of Marblehead documented repairs he undertook in 1909, “when the Historical Society came into possession of the building.”

Removal of the block-printed Chinoiserie wall-papers on the third floorLee Mansion wallpaper restoration 13 revealed a humorous hand-written notation by someone else, probably sometime in the 1800s: “ ~ Notice – Some vandal cut this / figure out and carried it off. / Be kind enough not to follow his or her mean example.”

This project was made possible by a federal grant from Endowment for the Arts through the Save America’s Treasures program, matched by the Getty Grant Program of the Getty Foundation near Los Angeles.Getty_logoSaveAmericasTreasures-logoNEAlogo

 

Pathp » img.size-full wp-image-1265 alignright

 

Word count: 532 Draft saved at 3:42:29 pm. Last edited by Betsy Hundahl on February 17, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Publish

 Published Edit
Visibility: Public Edit
Revisions: 22 Browse
Published on: Feb 17, 2014 @ 13:25 Edit

Page Attributes

Parent


Directions
Gift Shop
JLM Window Conservation Project Funding
Marblehead 101 – Part V
Saving The Lee Mansion
Support Us
Join the Marblehead Museum
Annual Fund
Planned Giving
Volunteer
Home
About Us
Annual Reports
Board of Directors
Partnerships
Marblehead Family Fund
Marblehead Garden Club
Marblehead Schools
NARM-North American Reciprocal Museums
PEM
Programs
Staff
Properties
Facilities Rental
Museum/Exhibits/J.O.J. Frost Gallery
J.O.J. Frost Folk Art Gallery
Jeremiah Lee Mansion
Bette Hunt Remembers the Lee Mansion
Lee Mansion Gardens
Lee Mansion Window Conservation
Period Gardens
Who was Jeremiah Lee?
Civil War & G.A.R. Museum
Exhibits & Events
Current Exhibits
Events Calendar
Past Exhibits
Upcoming Exhibits
Marblehead 101
Contact Us
News
Archives
Collection
JOJ Frost
Map & Charts
Marblehead History
Marblehead Pottery
Photography
Prelude of War of 1812
W.T. Bartoll Portraits
Writings

 

Template

Blog (full posts)
Blog Excerpt (summary)
Content/Sidebar
Content/Sidebar Half Page
Full Width Page (no sidebar)
Landing Page (no menu)
Sidebar/Content
Sidebar/Content Half Page
Sitemap

Order

Need help? Use the Help tab in the upper right of your screen.

Featured Image

OTW Grid Manager Light

INFO

Add Row

Sharing

Title settings

 Disable title on homepage
 Disable title on page/post
 Disable title on category page
 Disable title on archive page
 Disable title on menu