Magazine article Humanities

Thomas Cole Murals Found

Magazine article Humanities

Thomas Cole Murals Found

Article excerpt

Several friezes have been discovered on the walls of the Thomas Cole House in Catskill, New York, the former residence turned museum of the famous nine-teenth-century American painter. They had been covered up by a layer of paint about fifty years after Cole's death, but when in 2014 the museum hired a paint specialist, Matthew Mosca, to analyze the finishes on the walls of the house as part of a restoration effort funded by NEH, he uncovered two small sections of decorative art right below the ceiling in the East and West Parlours. Cole himself had painted them directly onto the wall in 1836. While checking each room of the house, another frieze was found in the pantry, a room that was converted into a storage closet, where there was a Greek key pattern that had never been covered up, but was thought to be just wallpaper.

Now, with the help of a $460,000 NEH grant, the painstaking process of restoring these friezes has begun. In the West Parlour, the frieze follows a regular geometric design, so a representative sample of the design will first be exposed, and then an artist will reconstruct the pattern across the rest of the room. …

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