Boston Public Library and a conservation team led by Gianfranco Pocobene have won the Preservation Achievement Award for its restoration of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes’ Philosophy mural panel from the Boston Preservation Alliance, Boston’s primary nonprofit advocacy organization that protects and promotes the use of historic buildings and landscapes. The Library’s McKim building at Copley Square has long been celebrated as a premier art and architecture destination in Boston, and the murals decorating the grand staircase are some of the most photographed objects on any visit.
Artist Pierre Puvis de Chavannes’ Philosophy panel, approximately 14′ x 7’in size, 160 pounds, and one of nine panels in the artist‚Äôs mural cycle, was successfully restored in September 2016 and then returned to its alcove in the grand staircase. This section of the Chavannes‚Äô mural was conserved using a technique that had to be invented for this project and returned to its home after months of careful restoration.
The Boston Preservation Alliance hosts the 2017 Preservation Achievement Awards at Fenway Park on September 19. Boston Public Library also received a BPA award this year for its Central Library Renovation of its Johnson building.