Top of Mind
by Julie Rose
National Internet Radio
Interviewer, Julie Rose at BYURadio
Interview: Restoring Street Murals Back to Life
Guest: Scott Haskins, Director and Chief Conservator,
Fine Art Conservation Laboratories
Is the repainting of a contemporary mural
in the name of restoration ever acceptable?”
Pratically, every week or so, I wind my way past downtown LA to Orange County where our lab enjoys a wide variety of professional art conservation activities. I started out my schedule today in South Laguna Beach at The Redfern Gallery where I delivered two completed art restoration projects and picked up a Swiss Alpine scene by Edgar Payne, done about 1920 that hasn’t seen the light of day for about 75 years. Click here for an interesting time-lapse video cleaning of a very similar Edgar Payne. Also, while at Redfern’s, unframing and examining a sweet portrait of a young girl gave us a couple of surprises… see the short video below:
Then, I made my way through the heavily infested area of downtown Laguna Beach where hordes of tourists on foot bring never ending automobile traffic to a standstill. I finally made it up the coast through to the next beach towns of Corona Del Mar, Costa Mesa and Newport Beach where I picked up a respectable pizza to go at Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana (una quattro stagione) while on my way to meet a private collector in Huntington Beach.
Busted up Early American Art
I couldn’t believe the valuable collectibles I found in a pile of stuff a couple of weeks ago! I was amazed!! Besides the unexpected treasures, I also found neglect and bad judgment of packers and shippers had damaged some really valuable works of art… obviously completely avoidable. All it takes to avoid this heartbreak is being careful and doing “it” right… something to watch out for if you are hiring, moving, storing collectibles etc. Check out the short art restoration testimonial from Las Vegas collector at the end if you are thinking you need help with something.
So, when I saw this, I just shook my head in disbelief. I was amazed and jazzed to paw through the pile…
I blogged in January about two murals that we worked on that had a special social message to tell. One is on the Army base in El Paso, Texas and the other is in Houston. The only thing that really connected them to me was their problem of flaking.
The worst flaking I’ve ever seen on a work of art.
In El Paso, Texas you can clearly see Juarez, Mexico on the other side of the freeway… besides the drama of the wall, Juarez’s reputation for lack of law and order are famous and its very interesting to imagine all that goes on over and around that border. Adding to that “vibe” we were feeling was the purpose of our work in El Paso; our mural on the Army Base, Fort Bliss, by World War II prisoner of war, Austrian Crpl Rudolph von Ripper in 1943 entitled “One Nation Indivisible With Liberty and Justice For All” an ideal to be held in the heart of every generation. His perspective was, in part, a product of his hate for the Nazis who had forced him into military service (and his gratitude to be a POW).
Our lab just finished cleaning up the graffiti vandalism defacing a heartfelt public work of art mural painted in 1987 by Russell Carlton, The #BlueMoonTrilogy. The mural was dedicated to the life saving and disease battling efforts of the AIDS Project Los Angeles in 1988 with a bronze plaque embedded into the mural… and still, though the mural was an emotional icon to saving lives, it was defaced with no respect.
Upon returning to our art conservation laboratory, we were honored by the visit of an international celebrity…
A 3rd of the mural “Blue Moon Trilogy” by Russell Carlton 1987 Before Restoration. See full image of mural After Restoration and video at end of blog post.
This public mural memorial monument located by the Hollywood Bowl was originally funded by AIDS Project of LA. The bronze plaque, from the dedication in 1988 on the mural will outlive us all. It reads:
Blue Moon Trilogy