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Williamsburg Murals: A Rediscovery

By Albert Swinden, Ilya Bolotowsky, Balcomb Greene, and Paul Kelpe

APPLICATION

Wall Niche

CATEGORY

Art Museum
'Williamsburg Murals: A Rediscovery", installation view, 2012. Courtesy Brooklyn Museum and the New York City Housing Authority.
'Williamsburg Murals: A Rediscovery", installation view, 2012. Courtesy Brooklyn Museum and the New York City Housing Authority.
'Williamsburg Murals: A Rediscovery", installation view, 2012. Courtesy Brooklyn Museum and the New York City Housing Authority.
'Williamsburg Murals: A Rediscovery", installation view, 2012. Courtesy Brooklyn Museum and the New York City Housing Authority.
Location Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York
On view since October 11, 2012
Medium Oil on canvas
Size Various - with the largest measuring 111 ½ in. x 168 in. (283.2 cm x 426.7 cm)
Glazing Optium Museum Acrylic®

The Challenge

  • Large oil on canvas art work paintings make use of glass prohibitively heavy.
  • Displayed in high traffic area near the museum’s cafe and susceptible to abrasions.
  • Dimensions of work exceed maximum sheet size of anti-static acrylic glazing available.

The Solution

Optium Museum Acrylic®

Acrylic is half the weight of glass and shatter resistant
Safeguards against injury and damage to artwork and visitors.

Anti-static protection exceeds that of glass
Makes for safer, easier fabrication and less cleaning.

Abrasion resistant
A durable hard coat protects against scratches from cleaning and general exposure to the public.

Anti-reflective
Allows viewers to see the drawing rather than distracting reflections.

99% UV blocking
Protects the mural from the most damaging light wavelengths, helping prevent fading and degradation.

Overlapping sheets of Optium Museum Acrylic® 
Grewe Plastics & Displays overlapped multiple sheets of Optium Museum Acrylic together, allowing the large murals to be glazed with anti-reflective and anti-static protection.

The Work

Murals executed by Albert Swinden, Ilya Bolotowsky, Balcomb Greene, and Paul Kelpe, were commissioned by the Works Progress Administration/Federal Art Project in 1936. Designed for Brooklyn’s Williamsburg Houses, which is one of the earliest public housing projects in New York City. Although the murals suffered from neglect over the years and painted over, they were fortunately rediscovered in the late 1980s. After a painstaking restoration, they were returned to public view at the Brooklyn Museum, on long-term loan from the New York City Housing Authority.

More Info