Hamilton Smith Hall, University of New Hampshire
The Canning Co. fine-art conservation team stabilized and conserved two, wall-sized WPA murals at UNH. The murals suffered varying degrees of deterioration and loss due to moisture intrusion and plaster substrate destabilization over nearly 80 years.
Historic paint analysis; plaster conditions analysis; plaster consolidation; injected adhesives; plaster restoration & repair; conservation cleaning; flaking tempera paint reattachment; inpainting; recreation of image in loss areas referencing historic documents
Farming in New Hampshire by George Lloyd and Industry in New Hampshire by Arthur Esner were painted in 1940 as part of the Work Projects Administration (WPA). Each mural was painted along the entire length of the north wall of each wing of Hamilton Smith Hall. Both murals are 8’ high by almost 40’ long with the bottom edge of each mural situated approximately 7’ above the floor.
The John Canning Co. conservation and restoration of the murals, painted in egg tempera, was carried out after we completed the plaster stabilization procedure which included injection of adhesives and fasteners to reattach loose plaster sections, removal of powdery painted sections that could not be salvaged, and re-plastering of large areas of loss.
Location: Durham, NH
Artists: George Lloyd, Arthur Eisner
Style: Social Realism, Regionalism