Friends of the Mission Inn Art Conservation Team

by Sue Bartel, Editor for Friends of the Mission Inn

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The Friends of the Mission Inn have commissioned numerous conservators over the years to work on their projects. Our most prolific is Scott M. Haskins,· a renowned art conservator of fine art, expert, consultant, and author. Working professionally since 1975, Haskins specializes in consultations and conservation treatments of paintings and murals; however, his knowledge and abilities include art appraisal and authentication analysis. Owner of Fine Art Conservation Laboratories (FACL, Inc.) in Santa Barbara, California, he and his team do private collection work, as well as traveling the United States and Europe working in museums and institutions.

FACL has conserved all of the artwork and designed the layout in the Spanish Art Gallery at the Mission Inn, Riverside, CA

Haskins has restored many well-known paintings in the collections at The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa from 1984 through 2018. Notable restorations his company, FACL, has done funded by the Friends include: The Espousal of the Virgin, St. Francis and the Flying Cross, The Good Samaritan, Charge Up San Juan Hill, the two McBurney paintings, and the thirty-six California mission paintings by Henry Chapman Ford, highlighted by a PBS Special. The mission paintings are a national treasure to the history of California and greatly influenced the Spanish-style architecture in Riverside. Of course, they are an eminent part of the identity of the Mission Inn. All these significant restorations have been made possible by our committed members and donors, and attendees at our fundraisers. Most of the artwork at the Mission Inn has been financed by Duane Roberts and The Mission Inn which included all of the old masters’ works in the Spanish Art Gallery (over 100) and many others.

Henry Chapman Ford paintings of the Missions of California were saved from destruction

Featured speaker at a docent forum held at the hotel in 2017, Haskins said the main objective concerning the old masters’ paintings was preservation, as opposed to esthetic repairs, since they are displayed at a viewing distance. Also, the decision of the level of restoration of a particular piece and its cost often depends on the assessed recuperation of the original value. He described the many ways artwork is damaged (disasters, accidents, smoke, mold, bugs and misuse) and the variable scientific processes used to restore them.

Recently, it was announced that Haskins has been chosen Head of the Mural Conservation Team (working alongside the original muralist) to lead the team to restore the 1776-1976 Bicentennial Freedom Mural on the Corona/­Riverside Prado Dam. The team plans to restore the 45-year-old mural to its original state after being badly vandalized.

Restoration Projects Update by Skip Forster, Restoration Committee

The Friends of the Mission Inn Board has elected to retain conservator Scott Haskins of Fine Art Conservation Laboratories of Santa Barbara to conduct a review of the artifacts on our current corrective action list and recommend measures to be taken to restore them to good condition.

A partial list includes: restore the Japanese wedding lantern and Phoenix carving in the Ho-O-Kan, resurface the altar in St. Cecilia’s Chapel, treat the wooden columns flanking the Assisi statue in the Atria, and repair the frame on the 1st floor McBurney painting. Scott has a long and beneficial relationship with the Friends, the Inn, and the Roberts family. Foremost among many of Scott’s achievements is the restoration of the Henry Chapman Ford mission paintings, which was featured on a PBS special. With Scott’s help we hope to develop an ongoing plan of preventive maintenance to prevent our valuable artifacts from degradation and ruin.

Alessandra Solomon, FACL Conservation Technician, working at the Mission Inn

Questions about what Fine Art Conservation Laboratories can do for you and your organization? Call 805 564 3438 or write


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About Scott M. Haskins

Scott Haskins has been in professional art conservation since 1975, specializing in the conservation/restoration of easel paintings, murals and art on paper. FACL, Inc. is known nationally for doing A+ work no matter the size or difficulty of the project. We are happy to do a quick cleaning on a family heirloom. Our client list and resume is also full of very satisfied clients of large, difficult/complicated projects at remote locations. Excellent services are also available as an Expert Witness/Legal Testimony in art related matters. Consultation on art related projects occur regularly including extensive insurance evaluations for insured or insurer. Services are offered worldwide. Scott M. Haskins is also author of the "Save Your Stuff" series, educational information, materials and supplies to help people protect and save their treasured family heirlooms and collectibles at home and office. He can be reached at 805 564 3438. Video and written testimonials at
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