Our firm was tasked with the relocation of the mural from its original location in the Hollywood home built for Fred H. and Bessie Ranke, where it was painted in situ, to the new Steven S. Koblik Education and Visitor Center at the Huntington Library. The painting originally wrapped around the room, with openings for three doors and two windows, covering the walls from top of the wainscoting to bottom of the crown molding. While in good condition, the mural was at risk of being painted over by future owners of the home.


The conservation treatment of the mural required devising a system for its safe removal, which involved facing it with light-weight tissue to provide support and secure fragile paint layers, then rolling it off the wall in room length sections onto large diameter hollow cardboard tubes. The mural was then transported to the lab for conservation treatment. Once there, individual panels were unrolled, the facing removed, and panels were prepared for lining to a polyester support fabric. After lining, the panels were individually attached to large custom-made aluminum honeycomb panels, using a reversible conservation adhesive. They were then cleaned, varnished, and reintegrated. In its current presentation the mural is displayed on a single wall, with narrow frames indicating individual panels.






Mural for the Home of Fred H. and Bessie Ranke, Millard Sheets, 1934
Oil on “Sanitas” wall-covering fabric, 8’H x 43’L


Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, CA