Monday, 10 October 2011

10__Fresco at New Mexico State University

Olive Rush painted a fresco at New Mexico State University, in the entrance of Foster Hall, the biology building:

The portico of Foster Hall, partly exposed to the elements:

It is hard to see the sheep on top of this arch:

Most of the colors in the fresco are weak, except for the brown in this cow:

Signature, 1936:

Olive Rush transferred most of the images to the wet plaster by incision. However, for some reason she did not paint this incised bottle image:

I believe that this rough whitish line marks where one area of the fresco was plastered next to the previous day's work:

These cracks in the hand may have occurred while the fresco was drying:

The color in the ceiling painting was very bright. However, I suspect that these ceiling images had been restored many years later:

The the fox on a bright blue background, was painted in a corner that does not receive direct sunlight. Nor does the painted pedestal, which the red fox stands on, receive any direct sunlight -- yet the pedestal color is very pale:

The original fresco may have faded days after it was painted (which has happened to us); and the bright colors may only date back to 1983, when the university restored the fresco. Perhaps the strong New Mexico sun bleached the colors in the fresco over the years (but it seems odd that both the parts exposed to direct sunlight, and some that were shielded, faded the same).

Saturday, 1 October 2011


I went to Taos (Sept 30) to see the frescoes in the old courthouse on the plaza, upstairs in the back room. However, this room apparently is always locked up. Therefore, I took the best photos that I could through the windows (perhaps the murals are easier to see in this YouTube video):

In addition to those WPA artists mentioned above, I believe that Frederico Vigil recently painted the fresco shown obliquely on the far right, in the below photo (on that same wall, there seems to be another rectangle reserved for a future fresco):

Fresco is inherently architectural. I thought the local Taos Earthships could encourage a fresco revival, on their adobe walls.