Painted Canvas Mural Condition Assessment- Duke Ellington School of Performing Arts

Washington, DC

In April of 2015, we were contracted to remove a 16-foot painted text canvas mural and two painted spandrel panels located at the Duke Ellington School of Performing Arts in Washington, DC. At the request of GCS-Sigal, LLC, we removed the mural and panels, conducted condition assessments, performed cleaning tests, and developed treatment recommendations for the conservation of the mural.

Our conservators removed the painted canvas from the site and transported them to us’s conservation studio where they were photographed and assessed. Noted conditions included the deterioration of the painted surface, friable paint, surface cracks, material loss of the canvas, and overall soiling. These conditions commensurate with the age of the canvases and their continual exposure to UV light and dust.

We performed wet and dry cleaning tests. Dry cleaning was carried out with a HEPA vacuum and soft bristle brushes. Wet cleaning tests were then used to remove any soiling still remaining on the surface after the dry cleaning test (detergents and solvents: 3-5% Orvus WA Paste, swabs of distilled water, and 91% isopropyl alcohol). The results were documented and submitted in a condition assessment report with treatment recommendations.