Bringing Itinerant Mural Back to Life!

At the 1841 Baptist church, Five Islands, Georgetown Maine, the town celebrates its 300 year anniversary with the restoration of their mid 19th century mural.

It is 12 ft by 10 ft. believed to be created by an unknown itinerant artist(s).

The whole Fogg Art Restoration team pooled its talents and worked on this project together.

The mural which was painted directly on the interior plaster wall behind the pulpit, depicts iconic images of the area.

Over its history the mural developed age cracks in the plaster and a great deal of paint loss. Repairs had been made by a local artist about 25 years ago.

The Fogg Art Restoration team began the project with testing and photographs. The treatment plan was designed to conserve the mural, while preserving and respecting its 150 year history.

When the treatment plan was developed and approved by the church trustees, work could begin.

To start the Mural was gently Cleaned

Then the loose and flaking paint layer was painstakingly stabilized with BEVA adhesive and heat.

Selected cracks and paint losses were filled with a polymer based conservation filler, because of the flexibility it provided.

After sealing the fills, polymer based conservation paints were used to in-paint where necessary.

Finally non yellowing low molecular weight varnishes were selected and applied by brush and spray to seal and adjust the surface.

Presently research is being done by Earle G. Shettleworth Jr, Maine state historian and an art historian from North Carolina. They are using clues in this mural and another on neighboring Westport Island to take local folklore and piece together facts about the beloved images.

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