Mural Restoration

mural_detailThe ceiling of the Royce Hall loggia, adjacent to the Morris Seminar Room (Royce 306) where so many CMRS events take place, is adorned by a ceiling painting, “The Instruction of the World,” painted by Julian Ellsworth Garnsey in the late 1920s expressly for Royce Hall. It depicts the great minds from antiquity to the present, the Middle Ages represented by Abelard and Petrarch, the Renaissance by Philip Melanchthon and Ignatius Loyola.

Although Royce Hall underwent extensive repair and refurbishing in the wake of the 1994 Northridge earthquake, the mural, which was painted on canvas and subsequently adhered to the ceiling, was not fully restored. Over the years, some of the canvas strips have gone missing, most notably on the Loyola portrait.

In July 2003, restoration of the image of Loyola on the Renaissance portion of the mural was completed. Loyola’s feet and the inscription which accompanies the figure were carefully redrawn, painted, and textured to match the existing mural. The decorative areas of the missing canvas strip were also restored. (Compare the before and after pictures above.) Restoration work was done by art conservator Tatyana Thompson and her assistants.

Funding for the mural restoration project was provided by the William H. Hannon Foundation, the A. S. Thomas Memorial Fund, and the CMRS Council. Former CMRS Director Andy Kelly was instrumental in obtaining support.