40 Years of Paint Removed from Glensheen Room

Stenciling Unveiled in Alfred's Room

DULUTH, Minn. – History is being revealed at Glensheen Mansion in Duluth.

Hard work is bringing life back to the walls of Alfred’s room.

After 40 years in hiding the original stenciling in Alfred’s room is on full display at the mansion.

“We really strive to make it feel like it was in 1910,” said Jane Pederson, Marketing Manager for Glensheen.

Conservators from Midwest Art Conservation Center used their tools to remove white, latex-based paint.

“It’s uncovering the history of the house. It’s just uncovering something that no one’s seen for decades so that’s pretty spectacular,” said Kristy Jeffcoat, Senior Paintings Conservator for Midwest Art Conservation Center.

Glensheen officials tell us the room was painted over as a suggestion by Glensheen staff because they said the stenciling was out of vogue and the Congdon’s would have wanted a change.

“It was actually a common practice that happened with many historic homes during this time,” explained Pederson.

For the folks at Glensheen, this is just another new feature on tour.

“All we’ve had in the past are these black and white photos of what his room looked like originally and now we have this full color, real–life vibrant stenciling that we can see in person that hasn’t been seen in decades by anybody,” said Pederson.

These projects excite staff because they say it’s a gamble on whether the funds will be there from the Glensheen Gala and tours to make tasks like this possible.

“We’ve opened 15 new spaces, so it’s funny to make an old mansion new, but there really are these spaces that haven’t been up to their original 1910 glory,” said Pederson.

The room can be seen at the Glensheen Gala on Saturday, May 13.

For information on the mansion, head to glensheen.org.

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