PLYMOUTH 400 BLOG – Several Plymouth organizations, including Pilgrim Hall Museum, received funding from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts last year to complete restoration projects in preparation of the 400th anniversary of Plymouth Colony in 2020. Pilgrim Hall received $215,000 to restore the two-hundred-year-old painting “Landing of the Pilgrims” by Henry Sargent and restoration specialists are well on their way to finishing this landmark project.
According to a Pilgrim Hall Museum press release, “The Landing of the Pilgrims by Henry Sargent has been on display in Pilgrim Hall Museum since the building opened in 1824. Sargent completed the painting between 1818 and 1823. Sargent originally placed The Landing on loan at Pilgrim Hall. He donated the painting to the Museum in 1834. At 13 by 16 feet, it is one of the America’s first monumental paintings and one of the earliest efforts to depict a key moment in the history of the new nation on a grand scale.”
In a blog post on the Pilgrim Hall Museum’s blog, Patrick Browne, Executive Director, writes, “The Landing has hung for 191 years on the east wall of Pilgrim Hall Museum’s main hall, which was first climate controlled in 2008. Subjected to heat, humidity, soot, dirt, smoke and salt air over the years, the canvas became darkened and soiled. Additionally, the canvas exhibited typical destabilization and some loss of paint in certain areas.”
The sky depicted in the painting, which up until the restoration project began looked dark and stormy, is now a brilliant blue and small details hidden behind years of dirt and dust ar enow being revealed.
There will be a reception to celebrate the unveiling of the newly restored painting, and another opportunity to hear from the conservators, on Sunday, June 14, from 4 to 6 p.m. Information on admission and registration will be posted soon on Pilgrim Hall Musuem’s site.