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Unrolling The Mural for Conservation Assessment - "A Lunar Landscape" Bonestall Mural

On March 28, 1957, about six months before Sputnik was launched, the Museum of Science, Boston unveiled Chesley Bonestells masterpiece "A Lunar Landscape" on the lobby wall of the Charles Hayden Planetarium. After the Museum of Science, Boston removed "A Lunar Landscape" from display in 1970, it remained unseen for over thirty years. Finally, in July 2005, National Air and Space Museum staff gathered at the Smithsonians Museum Support Center to witness the murals unrolling. Jiasun Tsang, senior paintings conservator at the Smithsonians Museum Conservation Institute, surveyed the painting with her team to determine how it had faired rolled up for three decades. The mural showed some telling signs of age, but nothing that conservation work could not fix. Outside layers of the roll (mostly the left section) showed some discoloration. But aside from minor flaking, the rest of the mural was in good condition. After two days of examination, the mural was carefully rerolled. To restore the mural for future display, a team will need to unroll it again, stretch the canvas over many months, and then mount it on an aluminum frame.
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