Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle

Washington, DC

St. Matthew’s (C. Grant Lafarge, 1893) is a stunning Beaux-Art Cathedral graced with a liturgical artistry program designed by Edwin H. Blashfield including murals painted by Vincent Aderente, and Salvatore Lascari mosaics.

By the early twenty-first century the cathedral’s vibrant and expertly executed artwork and finishes showed their century of service, and were in need of conservation and repair. The goal for this historic conservation and plaster and specialty finishes restoration project was to repair areas of material loss, return surfaces to their historic colors, and conserve architecture and art for future generations. Work was phased while the Cathedral remained operational throughout construction.

We first assessed and documented existing wall, mural and mosaic conditions, which informed the custom design of intervention methodologies. The work was completed in collaboration with Oehrlein & Associates Architects, and the Archdiocese of Washington. Our conservators stabilized damaged ornamental and decorative plaster throughout the cathedral, and restored the decorative painting and gilding, including trompe l’oeil art. We removed degraded, discolored varnishes, stabilized cracking paint, and inpainted areas of loss and damage on existing murals, and carefully repaired and conserved all mosaics.