This was a fairly involved restoration. Along with a lot of damage to the various wood surfaces, the relief sculptures were badly faded and the background was completely painted over. The gold leaf needed work as did the two sculpted angels on either side of the altar. I had previously restored the "Last Supper" relief sculpture on the altar face about a decade earlier.
For the installation of the Beatitudes mural and Church Fathers icons at St. Josephat seminary in Washington, D.C. I was assisted by my nephew and artist Luke Sassani. The figures in the mural and the Church Fathers were taken down from a church that closed in Pennsylvania. I cleaned and restored them prior to the installation. The mural was a tight fit in a space of 9 feet high by 15 feet long. Originally they came off of a wall 18 feet high by 30 feet wide. As you can see, the background had to be painted in and the halos had to be newly gilded with 23 Kt gold. For the Church Fathers we had an easier space to work with.
For my last ten years of teaching art, I had the additional task of creating the prom decorations. There already was a great tradition at Mount Carmel Area HS for outstanding prom decorations. My students and I took this as a serious challenge, and produced some amazing murals and decorations for the proms I supervised. The students did about 90% of the work on the murals and about 98% of the work of setting up the prom. Usually, each year I would do the major work on one mural by myself.
During the summer of 2013, I visited my daughter Lori Ann in Brazil for two weeks. She, my grandson Andy and I painted the mural seen above for Lori's Creative Art school in Penopolis, Brazil. The mural is a brief survey of Art as far back in time as ancient Egypt and Greece and up through Modern Art. Andy, who was five years old at the time, is shown working on the Picasso portion of the mural. I feel sure that Picasso would approve of this arrangement.