Monday, October 16, 2006

Restoration in Arkansas Church
The Arkansas Catholic reports on a 1935 mural's restoration in a Helena, Arkansas church. It's hard to tell definitively from this image, but this art seems to be a definite cut above the plaster mold look of preconciliar (and some post-conciliar) churches. Naturally, most parishioners hated it. So they covered it up with a curtain in 1940. In the 70's, people painted the names above the six Old Testament prophets. (Don't blame the progressives; remember that we're in the no-explanation, let-the-symbols-speak mode. It must have been the catechists.) Parishioner Annetta Beauchamp has been a long-time advocate for the mural's restoration, having been in touch over the decades with Charles and Dorothy Quest, the artists who painted the wall back in the 30's. Casein, a milk byproduct, was mixed with mica to create the original paint. Beauchamp said, "Mrs. Quest said she stayed on her knees for months. They ordered the pigments from a place in New York City and she ground every one of them with mortar and pestle and she mixed it with ... buttermilk and eggs in from the farm every day and that was done exactly like the early Christian days." Cool. Not at all like varnishing a violin with your wife's blood. By the way, thanks to Amy, I found out about Catholic News Hub, a new service in which various local stories are provided by CNS at their site.

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