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Conservation is a critical part of the mission of the Maryland Commission on Artistic Property. The Commission is committed to preserving its collection for future generations to enjoy, and to place as many objects on public display as possible. Over the past few years the Commission has been fortunate to have some of its treasures conserved, and selections from these projects are highlighted below.

Recent Conservation Projects:

Object Conservation for the Old House of Delegates Chamber, Maryland State House:

Thomas H. Hicks The Planting of the Colony The Burning of the Peggy Stewart

As part of the long-term plan to improve the State House visitor experience, the nineteenth-century Old House of Delegates Chamber has been restored, using photographic and documentary evidence from the 1876-7 redecoration and restoration project directed by Baltimore architect George Frederick. Francis Blackwell Mayer’s paintings of the Planting of the Colony of Maryland and The Burning of the Peggy Stewart are displayed in the locations where they originally hung when they were acquired by the state in the 1890s. The portrait of Thomas Holliday Hicks by James K. Harley (1867) is not original to the space, but hangs in the location once occupied by Charles Willson Peale’s monumental portrait of Washington, Lafayette and Tilghman. All three paintings and their frames were completely restored prior to their display in the Old House of Delegates Chamber.

View more details on the Thomas Holliday Hicks portrait project

Object Conservation for the State House Caucus Room, Maryland State House:

Leonard Calvert Twilight on Bear Creek

The room now known as the State House Caucus Room is part of the original eighteenth-century portion of the State House. In the past, the space has served a variety of different purposes, and most recently as a Maryland Welcome Center run by the Department of Business and Economic Development. The space now serves as a place for legislative meetings and the exhibition of the USS Maryland silver service. Conservation of the paintings and silver service on display in the State House Caucus Room was made made possible by the generous support of the Maryland Senate.

View more details on the conservation of the Leonard Calvert portrait

Object Conservation of Plaster Casts at the Maryland Institute College of Art:

Diana with a Stag Figure from the Parthenon Frieze, Wedt Pediment

There are eighteen plaster casts from the state-owned art collection on display in the Main Building of the Maryland Institute College of Art. Many of these casts were loaned to MICA by the Peabody Institute after their collections and market place building was destroyed in the great Baltimore fire of 1904. In 2008 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Main Building, the plaster casts were briefly examined for potential conservation treatment. To date, the conservation of five casts has been completed through generous support of MICA. The conservation of these casts were completed by Diane L. Fullick of Fullick Conservation LLC.

View more details on the conservation process of the Diana with a Stag

Canvas and frame of Charles Willson Peale's William Paca:

William Paca Canvas William Paca Frame

From 2007 through 2009 the canvas and frame for Charles Willson Peale's portrait of William Paca underwent extensive conservation treatment funded by a 2007 state appropriation to the Maryland State Archives. The conservation treatment of the canvas was done by a team from the Winterthur Museum Conservation Lab led by Joyce Hill Stoner. Treatment of this massive canvas took 1,802 hours to complete and included 865 hours donated by graduate students in Winterthur's conservation program.

The frame was conserved by William Lewin Conservator, LLC in Baltimore and required approximately 100 hours of treatment. The frame was long thought to have been original to the canvas, but careful analysis revealed that it was likely replaced in the 1820 when Peale restored the painting.

View more details on the conservation of the canvas above

View more details on the conservation of the frame above

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© Copyright October 06, 2022 Maryland State Archives