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Historic Murals Restored on UAlbany Downtown Campus
Process is open to the public on Aug. 19

Contact: Karl Luntta (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 12, 2004) -- The second of 14 historic murals at the University at Albany’s Milne Hall, showing scenes from the history of the Capital Region, will be restored as part of a project that began in 2003. The murals, painted from 1933 to 1946 by artist David Cunningham Lithgow (1868-1958), were a gift to the college by the graduating classes of the Milne School. The current restoration is funded by Milne School alumni donations.

The process of restoring the mural, titled "The Mohawk People," will be open to the public for viewing Thursday, August 19 from 10 a.m. until noon in Milne Hall, Milne 200, 135 Western Avenue, and again from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for an interactive session, where the conservators will explain their restoration techniques and answer questions. The restoration project is directed by Joyce Zucker, the painting conservator for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation at the Peebles Island Resource Center. The cost of restoring the remaining 12 murals, which will take approximately three years to complete, is estimated at $110,000.

Lithgow also was known as an accomplished sculptor and received numerous commissions, including a statue of St. Andrew in the Albany Rural Cemetery and the Spanish War Memorial on Henry Johnson Boulevard. He painted the murals on regional history on the ceiling of The State Bank of Albany (now Fleet Bank on State Street). Born in Scotland, Lithgow emigrated to New York City in 1888. His first portrait commission was of the actress Lily Langtry.

The first mural in the project, titled "Heyward and His Female Companions," was restored in 2003. The murals have always resided in the room for which they were commissioned. Originally the library for the Milne School, it is now the Dr. Theodore H. Fossieck Milne Alumni Room. The Milne School was part of the New York State College for Teachers, which eventually became the University at Albany.

 


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