Wichita State’s Media Resources Center is the home of WSUTV. The WSUTV team provides a full-service video production on campus that includes script planning, production, post-production, and distribution. You’ve probably seen some of their work on their YouTube page, Channel 13, or in the Digital Signage around campus. Recently, I teamed up with WSUTV to help them on a documentary project.
Greg, Curt, and I traveled to Missouri to observe and tape part of the renovation process on Joan Miró’s mosaic mural, “Personnages Oiseaux.” The mural hung on the southern-exterior wall of the Ulrich Museum since 1978. Exposed to the Midwest’s harsh elements, areas of the mural began to deteriorate. After years of maintenance, a large-scale effort began to restore the mural.
Under the care of Russell-Marti Conservation Services, the mural is currently undergoing an extensive restorative process. In an effort to to maintain its structural integrity, Marianne Marti’s “main goal is not to change the mural from the front in any way. We don’t want to change the positioning, color or anything” (Dilts).
A lot of the restoration is occurring from the back. Russell-Marti is reworking the structural components of the mural that can only be seen from the back. The front of the mural will “look exactly as it always did, down to the spacing of the tiles” (Dilts).
Greg, Curt, and I watched as the conservation team created and poured gelatin over panels to create a mold of the tiles, removed old backing from the panels, added a new, perforated stainless steel backing, and cleaned individual tiles.
This was my first time visiting the mural and the restoration team, but the WSUTV team has done a lot of work recording the process for a documentary. This documentary will cover every aspect of the renovation and will include interviews with those who envisioned this restoration and the team who worked to bring the mural back to life.
Russell-Marti has moved quickly forward through their renovation process, but there is still a lot of work left to do. The conservation team hopes to begin placing panels back on the exterior of the Ulrich sometime next year.