Surface Cleaning Tests

In the painstaking work of conducting cleaning tests, another unanticipated phenomenon was revealed. As layers of Nevelson’s original alkyd paint were exposed to the light, the team noticed a change in the paint color. It became clear that the obstruction of light by additional paint layers had affected the original color of the paint. Rather than the cream color that conservators had thought they would need to match, the original paint, exposed to light was revealed to be a much purer white.

The ethical approach had yielded a degree of accuracy that would have been impossible using any other method. As a result, this work will not only provide an outcome that is truer to Nevelson’s original intent and execution, it provides new information for the field of conservation as a whole. Nevelson would undoubtedly approve, knowing that the Chapel has once again reached outside itself to touch the world beyond its walls.

Sarah Nunberg