The Center for Painted Wall Preservation (CPWP) is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit organization, dedicated to the research and preservation of eighteenth and early nineteenth century paint-decorated plaster walls.
The walls we study were painted by some of America’s most significant early folk artists, including Rufus Porter, Jonathan D. Poor, and Moses Eaton. Our goal is to survey and document these painted and stenciled walls, in situ or in collections; further the appreciation of this rare and vulnerable art form; and serve as a resource for the conservation and preservation of painted plaster walls for future generations.
Early 19th-century painted plaster walls are treasures of American folk art. Documenting local landscapes in beautiful detail, these artifacts provide windows on the past. Sadly, these fine examples of folk art, are rapidly disappearing. Painted walls — which include murals, freehand brushwork, and stenciled plaster walls— are vulnerable to destruction and loss. We will lose these irreplaceable historical records unless we preserve these critical documents of our past.
Once the walls are gone, they are gone forever. This unfortunate truth makes the documentation and authentication work of The Center for Painted Wall Preservation timely and important to the history of early decorative arts in America. Help us protect this important part of our heritage by supporting the CPWP.
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Rufus Porter Murals
Online Exhibit and Presentation
Opens July 1, 2021
Born in West Boxford, MA, to a farm family, itinerant painter Rufus Porter painted landscape murals that earned wide attention. From 1824 to 1845, he completed more than 150 murals, a combination of freehand and stencils. Placed over mantels and entire walls, his murals were appreciated because he did natural settings of local views instead of the elaborate classical or historical scenes with enhanced decoration.
Linda Lefko explores Mr. Porter’s murals found only at the Old Stone House Museum & Historic Village.
For further information and to register for the online lecture, go to https://www.oldstonehousemuseum.org/2021-speakers-series/
Upper Connecticut River Valley
PAINTED WALL TALK & TOUR
Friday, October 1, 2021
- Oct 01, 9:30 AMLyme Center Academy Building, 183 Dorchester Rd, Lyme, NH 03768, USASee paint-decorated walls in private homes at the height of the fall foliage season in the Connecticut River Valley. Join the CPWP to visit four private homes with painted murals and overmantels!
"Rubbish-bound Murals go instead to Museum" in The Magazine Antiques
"Thanks to an astute residential contractor, the expert guidance of members of the Center for Painted Wall Preservation, the help of antiques dealer Allan Katz, and the generosity of collectors Karin and Jonathan Fielding, a group of early nineteenth-century New England murals that might have ended up on a scrap pile have instead found a new home at the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens"
"Painting in Domestic Places: Rufus Porter's Landscape Murals in Federal Foyers" in Antiques and the Arts Weekly
"This cluster of homes — with their variety of murals— serves as a demonstration of their historical significance as well as their vulnerability."
"The Painted Wall: Freehand Scrollwork" by Linda Lefko in Antique Homes, The Sales Directory of Antique and Historic Properties.
Sharing the The Governor Galusha Homestead in Shaftsbury Center, VT —an amazing survival of original freehand brushwork.