Synagogue, showing 1924 vandalism

1924 Vandalism and restoration

Sargent’s Synagogue mural sparked a great deal of controversy after it was presented to the public in 1919. The conflict centered on Sargent’s representation of Judaism as a faith superseded by Christianity. In 1924, an unidentified assailant protested its content by splattering ink at the panel. The restoration that followed this incident found that a varnish coating had prevented the ink from causing permanent damage to the paint. A restorer removed the varnish and ink from the lower part of Synagogue and recoated the cleaned area.
Synagogue, 1924,
in a photo taken after the vandalism incident;
note the ink splatter at the lower left
Boston Public Library
The Triumph of Religion