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Testing the Removal of Overpaint from Murals by Harvey Johnson

I knew that the paint used for Harvey Johnson’s murals was probably acrylic but I wasn’t sure what the original artwork was painted with. It took about 5 minutes to quickly figure out that it too was done in acrylic… about 45 years ago.  Also, I quickly discovered that as I rub with a solvent that dissolves the top layer of paint… I’ll dissolve the original paint too. That’s not good.

Then I tried a citris product that swells the overpaint and I can peel it off like taking skin off of a sunburn! Anyone need a job? I started out with a couple of  2″ x 2″ squares but I’m going to clean off a spot about 12″ x 12″ just to get a good look tomorrow.

TSU has some great paintings an I am really enjoying my week here. This is Scott Haskins, over and out… till tomorrow.

Murals at TSU

A detail of a mural at Texas Southern University.

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There Are Some Great Murals at TSU! Second Day of Survey Underway

So, first off, the whole motivation for the hoopla over the murals at TSU was because a couple of great, historical murals got painted out. I’ll actually be testing those murals (white walls) tomorrow to see if they can be uncovered and how much it will cost. I’ll report on that, with photos, tomorrow. Here’s what the walls look like now…

Murals were painted out here 6 months ago

"What murals? Where?"

I’ve been on campus now for my second day looking at over 100 murals by past students and faculty from over the last 50 + years… and damn! There are some great murals/paintings. Of course there is some student stuff that was done just to get a grade. But there are lots that are very good. And I’m going to show you a bunch of them! In fact, I’m so excited about what I’m seeing, I’m going to make a little video and post it later. Of course, if you are acquainted with Texas Southern University, you’ll know its all art from African Americans (I presume). Most certainly, most all subjects reflect that bias.

TSU MuralsMy purpose, as I have written before, is to determine the condition of all the murals on campus and help the University Museum set priorities for taking care of the collection in the future. Lots of them are in really bad shape. I’ve got “upper level” meetings tomorrow to discuss progress.

Stay tuned. More info to come. Hey! You might be interested to know that I have been using a special black light to help see details that have ether been obliterated or have aged into “invisibility.” For more info, go towww.tipsforartcollectors.org and click in the navigation bar “UV Blacklight” Here’s a photo of a signature that was totally invisible and it popped right out …

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Cleaning Off Overpaint From Harvey Johnson Murals Similar To Work At Fair Park

New video compares same problem at Fair Park, Dallas

Media: Contact Scott Haskins at 805 570 4140

www.fairparkmurals.com

www.fineartconservationlab.com

www.tipsforartcollectors.org (see Museum Wax info for how to protect collections at home and business)

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