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Hall and Martino Paintings Receive Conservation Treatment

Alva J . Hall conserved landscapeDuring the first half of 2013, “Fleming Street” by Giovanni Martino and an untitled landscape by Alva J. Hall received conservation treatments made possible by an art conservation fund established by IUP alumnus Robin Litton through the Foundation for IUP.

Alva J. Hall conserved 1857 landscape detailPaintings can deteriorate with age. Canvas weakens and rips. Paint exposed to light and atmosphere discolors and cracks and varnish darkens.

Sometimes, art that is donated to the University Museum arrives needing cleaning, proper framing, or repairs. Museums turn to art conservators to treat paintings threatened by these conditions. Interest from the University Museum’s art conservation fund makes it possible to clean, repair, or reframe one or more works of art each year. Litton has also donated more than 200 works of art that are now part of the museum’s permanent collection.

Photographs taken of two of these paintings before and after conservation show the results of their treatment (above set of photographs). Detail images highlight areas of damage that were repaired.

Hall’s landscape, painted in 1857, is one of a pair of his landscapes in the permanent collection. Although we have no information about Hall, it is likely that he received some academic training in painting. The other landscape in Hall’s pair hangs in President and Mrs. Driscoll’s residence.

Martino conserved Flemng Street painting“Fleming Street” is a painting by Giovanni Martino, one of eight children born in Philadelphia, Pa., to an Italian immigrant. Martino studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and, with his brother Antonio, is best known today as a “New Hope School” impressionist.

Martino Fleming Street conservation detailRecently conserved “Fleming Street” was Giovanni Martino’s entry in the Student Cooperative Association’s third annual art exhibition in 1946 at Indiana State Teachers College (ISTC). The painting was one of two entries selected by ISTC students that year for purchase for the Coop Collection, now part of the museum’s permanent collection.

The U.S. Department of State Cultural Exchange Through the Visual Arts and the Michener Art Museum in Bucks County, Pa., provide more information about Giovanni Martino.

In the coming months, watch University Museum news for information about other recent conservation projects.

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