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.
Conserving the Painted Past Symposium
April 3-5, 2020
Join CPWP and a stellar line-up of experts for an in-depth look at case studies and conservation techniques for painted walls.
Special off-site events for Symposium participants occur on Thursday, April 2
Sign up to receive updates and
the CPWP digital newsletter.
CPWP in the news!
"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.