The canvas mural at 1700 Webster Street in Oakland, California was painted by Robert Clifford Rishell (1917-1976), an Oakland artist and one of the founders of the Oakland Museum of California. He painted mostly in oils, but was also known for several large fresco murals. Rishell was a graduate of the California College of Arts and Crafts (BA and MA) and received adult school teaching credentials from the University of California, Berkeley.
The mural is approximately 9.5’ x 40’ and depicts the history of the East Bay in five different scenes: Portola’s famous exploration party discovered the East Bay, 1769; Mission San Jose founded by father Fermin de Lasuen, 1797; The Spanish crown granted East Bay to Don Louis Peralta, 1820; Robert Livermore, first recorded immigrant settler, 1835; Gen. John Fremont named “The Golden Gate” from East Bay hills, 1846.
ARG Conservation Services (ARG/CS) was contracted by Suffolk Construction in the Spring of 2016 to assess the existing condition of and provide removal services for Robert Clifford Rischell’s canvas mural located at 1700 Webster Street in Oakland, California. The scope of work included an initial site inspection, lab testing, installation of a pre-demolition protective facing, canvas removal, transportation of the mural to an external art storage facility, and final re-rolling of the mural onto a cylindrical drum. The goal of the project was to protect and stabilize the canvas both prior to and after removal, as an intermediate phase in preparation for potential conservation treatments in the future. All work was carried out in accordance with the American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Work’s Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice.
Suffolk Construction Company