Flower Memorial Library

Watertown, NY

The Flower Library was built in 1904 with the generosity and wise oversight of Mrs. Emma Flower Taylor in memory of her father, Roswell P. Flower, ex-governor of New York State. The community in Watertown mobilized to erect a library in their town; Mrs. Flower was an essential advocate for the library’s construction. The Flower Library has an impressive design scheme involving marble, mosaic, stained glass, oil paintings, sculpture, and decorative painting.  Nearly every surface in the Flower Library had been over-painted at some point. In some cases, the result had been simply an exchange of one color for another (albeit several times), but other elements had undergone the loss of vibrant glazes and decorative stenciling.

EverGreene examined and tested several pieces of artwork. After thorough examination, documentation, and testing of the paintings by the conservator, the following methods and materials were used:

  • Surface Cleaning/Removal of Degraded Coatings
  • Consolidation of flaking paint
  • Plaster consolidation
  • Infilling of loss
  • Application of a reversible surface coating
  • Inpainting

The project encompassed expansive paint studies and conservation treatments to ensure the library was restored to its original radiance. Additionally, since the Flower Library is a lively, functioning institution, the investigations were carried out in a manner respectful of library visitors and staff. EverGreene carried out conservation studies without invading or disrupting the library’s schedule.