Pilgrim Hall Museum Presents:
Revealing the Landing of the Pilgrims
Unveiling celebrates the completion of the largest art restoration project in South Shore history
The nation’s oldest continuously operating public museum, Pilgrim Hall Museum, presents Revealing the Landing of the Pilgrims wine and cheese reception, open to the public, on Sunday, June 14, from 4 to 6 pm at 75 Court Street, Plymouth. The special free event culminates a series celebrating the conservation of their trademark mammoth historic artifact, The Landing of the Pilgrims, a monumental painting by Henry Sargent.
A work of national significance, The Landing of the Pilgrims painting played a role in establishing the Pilgrims as “forefathers” of America, and the landing a central story in the greater narrative of the founding of the United States. Nationally renowned conservators from Olin Conservation worked tirelessly in the museum’s main hall to complete the restoration. Removal of nearly two centuries of surface grime, dust and numerous layers of varnish exposed the original façade of the museum’s beloved trademark work, an astonishing sight to behold. Gold Leaf Studios conservators have completed restoration on the painting’s historic 16’ wide ornate frame by John Doggett on site. The gilt frame received treatment for blackened surfaces and ornamentation, and repair to damaged or missing details and ornaments.
Revealing the Landing of the Pilgrims reception allows visitors to enjoy the celebratory unveiling of the restored work, meet the conservators, and hear their remarks as a closing summary at 5 pm. Speakers include Chief Conservator David Olin, of Olin Conservation Inc., Great Falls, VA, and frame conservator, historian and master gilder William Adair of Gold Leaf Studios, of Washington DC.
Olin is renowned for his work on the nation’s most historic works, including portraits of early U.S. Presidents in collections at the Smithsonian, the National Archives and at the nation’s Capitol. Adair, a frame conservator for the Smithsonian Institution and exhibition curator, learned his specialized trade in the Renaissance tradition from master gilders across Europe. The founding Director for the International Institute for Frame Study and a founding member of the Society of Gilders, Adair frequently writes and lectures on frame history and conservation.
Admission to the Revealing the Landing of the Pilgrims reception is free, donations are gratefully accepted. For more information about Pilgrim Hall Museum, visit www.pilgrimhallmuseum.org, call 508-746-1620 or follow the Museum on Facebook and Twitter.
About Pilgrim Hall Museum
Pilgrim Society, founded in 1820, built Pilgrim Hall Museum in 1824. It is the oldest continuously operating public museum in the country and America’s museum of Pilgrim possessions. Pilgrim Hall’s extraordinary collection of 17th century artifacts, some of which arrived on the Mayflower, illuminates the story of the founding of Plymouth Colony. The Museum is located at 75 Court Street in Historic Plymouth, MA, and is handicap accessible. For more information, including business hours, programs and tickets, visit www.pilgrimhallmuseum.org, call 508-746-1620 or follow the Museum on Facebook and Twitter.
Top Left: Conservators preparing Sargent's Landing of the Pilgrims painting for removal from the museum's main hall wall, where it has hung for more than a century. Courtesy image.
Bottom Left: Chief Conservator David Olin (right) works with a peer carefully removing layers of varnish and grime from the surface of Sargent's Landing of the Pilgrims. Image by Ed Nute Photography.