Dominican Friars Study Center School Frescos

Washington, DC

The Dominican Friars sought to reinstall two frescos in the rooms of their new house of studies opposite Catholic University. One depicted the Madonna and Child with adoring supplicants while the other consisted of two pairs of angels. The friars wished to exhibit the two as a single panel. The works had been painted directly on the walls of a mansion in Elkins Park, PA. Each had been cut out of that structure and crated before being shipped to the Study Center.

We were contracted to mount the frescos. They designed mounting systems to accommodate the original backing materials and the new site. Our goal was to install the fragile frescos in a manner that supported and protected them while allowing for future removal if desired. The Madonna panel had been cut into three sections. These were reassembled into an opening that was cut in the new wall after careful removal of the existing framing. The embedded wire lath was screwed to plywood supports around the edges and braces were adhered from the existing wall to the fresco back. The joints and cracks that had formed during transport were filled and in-painted to match the original surfaces. The two angel panels were first reinforced with fiberglass backings before being mounted within a stone niche. The joint was then filled and in-painted.