The Asolo Theatre, built in 1795 in northern Italy, was purchased by Ringling and reinstalled in his estate in Sarasota, Florida in 1951. The theater elements were to be relocated to a new Visitor’s Center. EverGreene was retained to document conditions, conserve and disassemble three levels of wood-paneled balconies, hand-painted and decorated with hand-carved, gilded gesso ornament.
The scope of work included three phases. In the preconstruction phase, EverGreene performed the investigation and documentation of conditions, photo-documentation, testing of treatments, and completion of a pre-conditions report.
In phase I, the conservation treatment included cleaning, consolidation of loose and flaking paint, stabilization of the substrate and gesso ornament; replacement of missing carved gesso ornament, removal of existing gross overpaint. Dismantling and storage included disassembly of ornament and pictorial panels; inventory and labeling of elements; and packing for storage.
In phase II, the reinstallation in the Visitor’s Center included reassembly of panels; final conservation treatment including infilling, inpainting areas of loss using reversible conservation paints and an isolating varnish, and gilding; application of protective coating; and reinstallation of conserved gesso ornament.