The wall mural known as “The Patron Saint of Artisans” at the Allied Arts Guild was painted in the 1930s by Maxine Albro, whose murals decorate many significant structures in the region, such as Coit Tower. The mural depicts a tree with four different crafts and has an inscribed niche of Tubal-Cain, the first artificer (Genesis 4:22).
Over time, water infiltration had caused the outermost layer of plaster to delaminate from the secondary wall layer, resulting in voids behind the painted plaster of up to 1/2-inch wide. ARG Conservation Services was retained to consolidate and stabilize the plaster as a precursor to surface treatment by a paintings conservator.
The ARG Conservation Services treatment began with material analysis to match surface texture of the historic plaster. The custom fill material provided adhesion without surpassing the adhesive strength of the historic plaster and allowed appropriate levels of water permeability with minimal shrinkage. After laboratory testing, the custom fill material was injected into existing cracks with syringes.
Plaster Stabilization and Conservation
Allied Arts Guild
Menlo Park, California