Scott M. Haskins is an expert mural restorer/conservator: Just got a call from an organization to save an important mural from demolition in London, England. They’ve asked me to be the trouble shooter for the removal of the mural from a building about to be demolished in Hyde Park. The reason they call me is because not only do they want it removed… they want it removed safely and according to art conservation standards.
I’m not sure if I’m just going just to do some tests and present my findings at a meeting or if I’ll be there for a couple of weeks, to stand in front of the wreaking ball and get the mural off the wall!
Depart tomorrow, Wed. Meeting the afternoon, on Thurs. Stay tuned… I’ll be reporting in. Here’s what the mural looks like:
Continuing story below:
I got the call on Tues. in Santa Barbara, CA to be in London, England for a Thurs morning meeting. I got there on time and they asked me to inspect the mural. After about 30 minutes of looking around I determined that the mural could be removed safely.
“OK, then, get it off!” they said. “When?” I asked… “Now. The wrecking ball comes in on Monday morning”! “Now? I don’t have equipment, supplies, a hotel reservation… I have my return flight this evening!” “Well, if you want it off, this is your chance.”
So, here’s the video of taking it off the wall:
Because of this blog post and the video, we got a call from a private party in Sacramento California who said that they had been in the vicinity of the renovation of a visitor’s center on Temple Square. They happened upon the debris being thrown away and discovered that there was a painting rolled up in the trash! They unrolled it,partly, and found that it was a version of the above mural, The Purpose of Life by the same artist, but it was an Asian version according to the demographics in that region. They saved the mural and brought it back home from Hawaii where they put it into storage for many many years. The phone call to me was whether we would like to have the mural and preserve and restore it for the same corporation that has the above mural. Long story short, the Asian version ended up going to the same organization and location as the above version. Given the popularity of the subject matter, we assume that the Asian version was painted afterwards but close to, the 1964 date. Here is the image of this wonderful painting. Notice that the sequence of the mural reads from right to left, opposite of the mural mentioned above:
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My husband had served an LDS mission back in the early 1980’s. He used a pamphlet that had the “Purpose of Life” picture on it. He loved that picture and has mentioned on various occasions he wished he could find a copy of it. Do you know of any pamphlets, memorabilia, etc. where I can get a copy of this picture? I have been looking for a long time and had just noticed your video where the mural was taken down from Hyde Park Chapel in London. This is where I was directed to you. With such a famous painting, I can’t help but think there has to be some copies of it somewhere. Do you know where else I can search for my quest?
Lori, contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 805 564 3438 and I’ll email you a photo of the mural.
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