The plaster in the Library wing was patched as needed, the woodwork was repaired, the radiator refinished and the stone mantel was meticulously set back into its position. However, the one item that made the biggest impact in this room was the installation of the period light fixtures, set atop the bookcases. These graceful sconces were originally installed by Westmoreland Davis during a 1930 electrical upgrade. Unfortunately the original fixtures were removed and discarded in the early 1990s and fluorescent lights were installed. Research uncovered photographs of the Davis library fixtures and the original glass shades were located on site. “Ghosts” of the base of the fixtures were still visible on the tops of the library bookcases. Using this information, Director of Preservation Jana Shafagoj worked closely with custom light fixture designers Crenshaw Lighting, to replicate the 1930 fixtures. In December 2010, the fluorescent lights were removed and the replica fixtures were installed, instantly transforming the Library into a warm and inviting space.
Before and after shots of the library. The period lighting fixtures and marble fireplace add grace and beauty to this room.
libary before restoration
Restored library - note the lovely sconces over the bookcases
The extensive interior furnishing collection at Morven Park includes several 17th century Brabant tapestries. In 2008, three of these tapestries were sent to Textile Conservation Services for cleaning and stabilization. The tapestries have been a highlight of tours at Morven Park since the mansion was opened to the public in the 1960s. The current treatment of cleaning, stitching tears, and re-lining the tapestries will ensure that they may be enjoyed by our visitors for many more years to come. These photos show the work in progress.
DID YOU KNOW ?
As First Lady of Virginia, Marguerite Davis served as President of the Women’s Munitions Reserve, filling bags with gunpowder to be sent to troops overseas in World War I.
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