Historic Renovation

Cleaning and Restoration of the Murals and Ceiling in the King Sculpture Court

As part of the original design for the 1917 building, Cass Gilbert hired painter Frederick J. Wiley to decorate the upper walls and ceiling of the museum’s Hazel B. King Sculpture Court. The coffered ceiling is enlivened with animal and foliage designs, while the upper walls feature verses written by the American transcendentalist Christopher Pearse Cranch (1813-1892). The condition of the decorations has been seriously compromised by darkening and severe paint losses, particularly on the upper walls. The paintings have never been restored since their completion in 1917.