The Rescue and Conservation of the Lost Mural was presented on 1 July 2020 online via a Zoom session. A video version of it is online here.
Our June 24 class The Odyssey of the Lost Mural describes the discovery and rescue of a very large, beautiful mural in Burlington, VT that was painted in the early 20th century in the style of Eastern European Jewish synagogues.
This follow-on class explains the multiyear efforts of the large interdisciplinary team headed by conservators Richard L. Kerschner (the presenter for this class) and Constance S. Silver to solve the challenging and complex puzzle of stabilizing and protecting and then safely moving the flaking and fragile mural to a nearby synagogue for its long-term display and care. The mural is now stable and safe in its new location. However, further conservation treatment is required to remove discolored varnish and dirt and fill in losses.
The presentation is beautifully illustrated and will be of interest to both a general audience as well as to professional conservators.
Richard Kerschner is the principal of Kerschner Museum Conservation Services, LLC. He has extensive experience in preventive conservation and conservation project management and is recognized nationally for his expertise in collections-based practical and sustainable environmental control for museums in historic structures and LED lighting for museums. He retired in 2015 as Shelburne Museum’s Director of Conservation and Preservation after 32 years of service.
Recent work includes consulting for The Palace Museum, Beijing, China; on practical environmental control for historic structures in the Qianlong Garden of the Forbidden City; on stability of ceiling frescoes in the President’s Room of the US Capital; and on tightening the building envelope and reconfiguring the environmental control system at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Virginia. He has also advised on conservation and relocation of the 1912 “Lost Shul Mural” painted on plaster in Burlington, VT; directed environmental upgrades for Shelburne Museum’s “Dutton House” that contains the Nation’s best collection of waterfowl decoys; and advised on environmental improvements at George Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY.
He holds a master’s degree and Certificate of Advanced Study in Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works from the Cooperstown Graduate Program, SUNY Oneonta, and is a Fellow and past treasurer of the American Institute for Conservation and Fellow and past Council Member of the International Institute for Conservation. He lives in Ferrisburgh, Vermont.