Restoring the Old Main Frescoes

October 11, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Ann Beha Architects contacted me a few weeks ago to take pictures of "their project" in Old Main on the Penn State University campus.

While I've literally got thousands of photos of Old Main in my collection, I don't have any of the interior of the building.

What I didn't know, was that the frescoes were not only in need of restoration, but that the project was complete! I would be the one to take pictures of the finished work for their portfolio.

In addition to taking my own angles, they were looking to match some of the historic photos, probably taken with a view camera and bellows. While I don't have such equipment, I do have digital technology, so I was able to pretty closely match the originals. Unfortunately, we didn't have the time to match them perfectly, but they're still pretty close.

The work was tedious, and the lighting terrible, with three different color temperatures from tungsten, daylight and fluorescent. Due to the delicate nature of the frescoes, flash was not an option. I suppose that's why they called me :-)

While the lobby is generally open to the public, we did have "special access" to take these photos. There were chairs and other furniture we had to move, as well as signage and other distractions. Several administrators did stop me to ask what I was doing.

Below are just a few of the hundreds of photos I took, and I'm proud to have them in my collection.

Click on the thumbnails below for a large slideshow format.

 

Old Main FrescoesOld Main FrescoesThe newly restored Land Grant Frescoes in the lobby of Penn State's Old Main, painted between 1940 and 1948 by Henry Varnum Poor.

Henry Varnum Poor (1887–1970) was an American architect, painter, sculptor, muralist, and potter.

See
Wikipedia for more on the artist.

160310-813160310-813 TBI_1837TBI_1837 MH-HT-1336MH-HT-1336 DBL-1622DBL-1622Zoe MacMaster IMG_5188IMG_5188


Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...

Archive
January February March April May June July (2) August (1) September (2) October (2) November (2) December
January February (1) March April May (1) June July August (1) September October (2) November December
January February March April May June July (1) August September October November (1) December
January February (1) March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December