Conservation and Restoration of Fine Furniture and Objects
WPA Federal Art Project Sculptures
Lane Tech relief sculptures during re-installation
Relief sculptures are restored and re-installed at Lane Tech High School

Lane Tech Relief Sculpture during re-installation
Detail of the sculpture’s design while being re-installed

Before conservation
Detail of sculpture panel, seen before conservation

Expansion crack closeup
Detail of an expansion crack in the panel seen above

Lane Tech wood relief - detail after conservation
Detail of the same sculpture panel, post-conservation

Lane Tech sculpture relief during removal
Sculpture panels being removed

Lane Tech sculpture relief during treatment
Architectural restoration
Panels as seen during the treatment process

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WPA Federal Art Project Relief Sculptures,
Albert Lane Technical High School, Chicago, IL
Control of the Elements and Evolution of the Book, designed by Peterpaul Ott


A visual narrative told in 12 mahogany panels, this striking carved relief sculpture was brought to Bernacki & Associates after the effects of time, moisture, and sunlight had taken a significant toll. At the top of the panels, water damage and stains from bird droppings caused severe deterioration. Bottoms were further impacted by scratching and abrasions. Noticeable warping and expansion cracks, as well as faded and worn finish, further affected the aesthetic experience of the artwork.


Familiar with the overall effects of time and wear, Bernacki & Associates were quick to return this dramatic sculpture to its original form. A complete and careful cleaning removed both staining and worn-down finish. Expansion cracks were in-filled and toned to seamlessly blend into the structure. A new, protective finish preserved the artwork’s substrate, color, and patina allowing this 12-paneled story to continue telling its tale.

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More about this project:
The Conservation of Wood Sculptural Reliefs by Peterpaul Ott