Judson Students Clean 1940s Mural from Old Elgin Factory
(Elgin, IL - September 27, 2012) Judson University students carefully blotted a mural with rags, wiping away decades-old dust to reveal brighter blues and greens.
The 11-by-15-foot canvas, which depicts a World War II factory scene, once hung on a wall in the Simpson Electric Company in Elgin — a factory that once produced war materials. Now, it lies across several long tables in a Judson building so art students can clean it and prepare it for display at the school.
The Elgin Area Historical Museum received the painting about two years ago when the Simpson building — which once housed the Illinois Watch Case Company — was being prepared for demolition, said museum director Elizabeth Marston. Because the museum couldn't afford a professional restoration, Marston sought out other ways for the painting to be preserved, eventually offering the job to Judson University's art students. In exchange for students cleaning the mural, the painting will hang at Judson on a three-year renewable loan from the museum.
Since the start of the semester, art student volunteers led by Assistant Professor Joe Cory, have been cleaning the large canvas, removing "70 years of dust and grime," Cory said. They first use rags and an ammonia-based, natural cleaner, but later will move to more intricate cleaning with Q-Tips, he said. When it's complete, they'll construct a special mounting to hang the mural… (Continue reading on ChicagoTribune.com)