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Raising the Visibility of Elmer Brown and the Monumental Cleveland Murals

2014-02-14 12:54:08

Raising the Visibility of Elmer Brown and the Monumental Cleveland Murals
Presentation: Wendy Partridge, Paintings Conservator, ICA-Art Conservation

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Cleveland State University
Student Center Ball Room, 3rd floor
Reinstallation of mural in the Student Center Ballroom

In observance of African American History month, Wendy Partridge will speak on the history and conservation treatment of two monumental murals by African American artist Elmer Brown (1909-1971). The murals were commissioned in 1940 for one of the first housing projects in the United States under the auspices of the WPA's Federal Arts Project. When their original building was demolished, these important murals were saved in a highly creative collaboration between the Housing Authority and Cleveland State University. They are now on public view in a highly prominent location in the Ballroom of the Student Center at CSU.

The talk will focus on Elmer Brown and the history of the murals in the context of the federal arts program in Cleveland, where a number of African American artists far exceeded the national average. It will also address the complicated deinstallation, conservation treatment, and reinstallation of the murals by the ICA.

The presentation will be given in the Student Center Ballroom (3rd floor) at Cleveland State University, 2121 Euclid Avenue, on Wednesday, February 26th at 10:00 a.m. This program is free and open to the public and is provided as part of ICA's Education and Outreach initiative, which is funded in part by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and the Ohio Arts Council. It is hosted by Cleveland State University's Michael Schwartz Library, History Department, and the Black Studies Program.

About the presenter

Wendy Partidge at workWendy Partidge at work in the lab.

Wendy Partridge has a graduate degree in Paintings Conservation with an M.A. in art history from the Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts, NYU. Prior to working for the ICA, she had internships and fellowships at the National Gallery, Washington, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She is a professional associate of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) and served for two years as chair of the AIC Paintings Specialty Group. She enjoys the community engagement and teaching opportunities afforded by working at a non-profit regional conservation lab. She is also the coordinator of the letterpress studio at Zygote Press in Cleveland.

An exhibit, The History of Elmer Brown Murals, will be on display in the Michael Schwartz Library from February 21 through March 31.

For more information, call 216-875-9734 or email

Posted 2014-02-14 12:54:08 by Barbara_Loomis.

Categories: Library News.