Van Witt Fine Art Conservation Completes Major Art Restoration of 1934 Mural "Arctic Life"

Major mural art restored and preserved by Van Witt Fine Art Conservation LLC

Under the direction of the Westport Art Advisory Council {Westport, CT}, Peggy Van Witt, a third generation art conservator and president of Van Witt Art Conservation, LLC based in Kansas City, Missouri, spent hundreds of hours cleaning, stabilizing, inpainting, repairing, and restoring, severely flaking paint on a massive mural which was originally painted as part of the Works Progress Administration {WPA} by famed muralist Colcord Heurlin.

When asked about her thoughts on the completion of this important art conservation project, Ms. Van Witt said: "Major works of this era are historically relevant and have significant artistic, educational, and economic value. Many of them, because of age, and the environment in which they are displayed, suffer physical damage, environmental degradation, fading, and loss of brilliance. With proper art conservation techniques they can be restored to their former grandeur, and enhance their economic value... it is my honor and my pleasure to be a part of that."


The mural is now owned by the Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection who commissioned Ms. Van Witt to complete the restoration of the "Arctic Life" mural along with Stephen Dohanos's ‘American Heritage’ fresco and other paintings. Ms. Van Witt is a former resident of Westport but now is headquartered in her state-of-the-art art conservation studio in the Kansas City area.

Since the works involved in the restoration were both large and in poor condition, moving them was not a prudent option. Ms. Van Witt decided to set up a temporary art conservation studio in Westport.

She spent several hundred hours restoring the paintings to recognized art conservation standards and they are now available for public viewing.

Van Witt Fine Conservation LLC is located in a professional art conservation studio in suburban Kansas City. Peggy Van Witt is President and CEO and the chief conservator of the firm. She is a long standing member and Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC). She is also a member of The New England Conservation Association, Conservators in Private Practice (CIPP), and the Midwest Conservation Guild and Heritage Preservation.