Architectural Art
Parma works with architects, preservation officers, restoration firms, and private clients who have architectural art in need of preservation. Parma provides historic paint analysis, feasibility studies, and proposals for recovering historic paint finishes and decorations which have been painted over, damaged, or obscured by time. As with all fine art, this work should only be entrusted to an experienced conservator who understands both the original materials that were used, and the unoriginal materials that need to be removed, such as an overpaint. Architectural art may include murals, trompe l'oeil, decorative stencil work, faux marble, secco murals, hand painted wallpaper, and handpainted wood.
Ceiling panel before conservationConservation of ceiling panels - during treatment
Ceiling Panels

This ceiling panel was originally produced for a late 19th century mansion in Chicago. Over the years the panels had been successively painted over by various owners. The current owner wished to retrieve the original handpainted stencils. Parma was able to successfully remove the asphaltum, oil paint, and casein overpaint that had been used to cover over the stencils, revealing a 19th century decoration that had not been seen in decades.

Please visit our project at The Richard H. Driehaus Museum in Chicago.

Driehaus Museum in Chicago
Parma Conservation - Lincrusta treatment at The Driehaus Museum in ChicagoParma Conservation - Lincrusta during cleaning

Lincrusta is a type of wallcovering that was fashionable during the 19th century. The material could be made to look like embossed leather, though it was actually made from a mixture of wheat pulp and linseed oil that was poured into moulds and mass produced. It would also have been hand painted by artisans. In the photo of left, a portion of this delicate material was cleaned of decades of accumulated grime and smoke to reveal the vibrant original color.

Please visit our project at The Richard H. Driehaus Museum in Chicago.

Driehaus Museum
Parma Conservation - Handpainted Woodwork Treatment

With hand painted woodwork, the varnish layers should not be removed entirely (stripped), but they may be reduced by a skilled conservator. As with the example on the left, the right side has been reduced to the original varnish layer, and the painted elements have been gently cleaned utilizing an emulsified solvent gel, yielding conservative, yet impressive results.
Parma Conservation - historic ceramic tiles conservation
Ceramic Tiles

Colored tiles and stones have been used in architecture since before antiquity. A mild solution was all that was required to restore these grime coated tiles back to their original, vibrant appearance.
Parma Conservation - pre-Christian Roman mosaic conservation
Ancient Mosaics 

This Roman Mosaic (one of a set of 9) had been continually restored over the centuries with materials ranging from paint, epoxy, grout, and colored wax. By removing these obscuring materials, the original tiles were found entirely intact. An inert mortar was used to precisely fill and compensate for the missing areas, and neutral watercolor was used to inpaint between the tiles. The results recapture the true form of the mosaic, much as it was made two thousand years ago.

Please visit our project at CDI Newsletter