Cleaning gilded relief elements

Cleaning of gilded surfaces

In the vaulted ceiling of the Hall, Sargent embellished the architectural surfaces with ornate relief moldings and medallions that he designed himself. The sculptor Joseph Colletti executed the work in plaster and oil gilding and decorative paint was then applied to the surfaces of the reliefs. In 2003, conservators found the gilded surfaces to be in excellent condition with only minor flaking and losses. The surfaces were dusted and cleaned with a mild aqueous solution to remove heavy grime layers. During this process, the lustrous and highly reflective quality of the gold leaf was regained.
Conservation technician Heather Hinchcliffe surface cleaning gilded relief elements on the ceiling of Sargent Hall (2003 photo)
The Triumph of Religion