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Project Name:  Corrado Parducci Mural, ca. 1942
Midland, Michigan
Objectives:  Removal, Conservation, Repair and Reinstallation
Project Date:  January 1998-December 1999
Materials:  Plaster

Originally executed by Corrado Parducci in 1942 for installation in the grand entrance to The Midland Theater, the Parducci Mural depicts the history of Midland, Michigan in bas-relief plaster. Twenty-six feet long and twelve feet high, the mural was cast in sections in Parducci's Detroit studio, and installed in the theater soon after the United States entered W.W.II. The mural's subject matter includes: Native Americans, loggers, farmers, Dow Chemical Company factory workers (Dow's Chemical headquarters is in Midland), as well as planes, trains, and covered wagons. The centerpiece of the mural is the figure of Lady Liberty, whose gown is festooned with the word "Victory"; she is attended by Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Herbert Henry Dow, who all look up to her in tribute. 

The mural was discovered just prior to the Midland Theater's demolition. The project involved removal, conservation, and reinstallation of the mural in The Midland Center for The Arts. 

The mural's removal from its concrete-block walls was by necessity a hurried affair. The entire surface of the mural was first faced with a water-reversible adhesive and cotton cheese cloth. Rotary and hand tools were used to cut the mural sections apart, following original seams. In addition, areas where adhesive plaster had been applied were also excised. The mural sections were then removed from the wall, lowered using ropes and rolling towers, and crated. 

Conservation consisted of uncrating, removal of facings, consolidation and reattachment of unstable areas of plaster, application of supports to impart rigidity, and resculpting of lost areas of detail Each mural section was mounted with stainless steel screws on 1" birch plywood, which had been coated with a pH neutral conservation coating; Ethafoam was used to cushion and isolate the mural from its backing. 

Rubber molds were also made of the mural sections, from which a bronze replica was cast. The replica has been installed in a local park.

Following conservation, the mural sections were crated and moved onto site for installation in the local Community Center and Museum. The mural sections were uncrated and received additional conservation treatments. The mural was painted and glazed by SEEBOHM, LTD, using microanalysis as a guide.