Powers of Ten: Expanding the APR Toolbox

Like the Charles and Ray Eames 1977 short film, Powers of Ten, Architectural Paint Research (APR) deals with magnitudes of scale, from a single pigment particle, to a painted house, to the decorative tastes of an entire region. In the spirit of the film, the 2017 APR conference took a closer look at how we carry out our research at every level, from the micro to the macroscopic.


Keynote Address – Wednesday, March 15 at 9:45am

“A Century of Color in America”, by Doty Horn.

Color is a universal communicator.  It speaks the language of culture, place, politics, social, economic and of the environment.  By exploring the tenor and personalities of the 20th century by decade, we will uncover answers to the “whys” behind color.  Learn how Color History, spanning fourteen decades from the 1880s to 2010s, aids in predicting Color Future.

Doty Horn is the Founding Director of , a business-to-business visionary color marketing firm, founded in early 2011. With an expansive background in the interior and fashion industries, as well as product development for companies such as Armstrong, Formica, Cole of California, and FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) in Los Angeles, Horn brings a unique perspective to color and design. For seven years as Benjamin Moore®’s Director of Color and Design, Doty established market-focused color strategies and trend forecasting, using color as the driving principle. Among her numerous contributions, she created Benjamin Moore®’s Affinity® Color Collection and was the creator and visionary behind Benjamin Moore®’s internationally acclaimed and award-winning trend forecast, Color Pulse®.


Special Guest Lecture – Thursday, March 16 at 9:05am

“Wild Beasts, Elegant Birds, and Gilded Ladies: The Style and Science of Chinoiserie Painted Surfaces in the Colonial Americas”, by Dennis Carr

By the late seventeenth century, a fashionable taste for Asian-style art developed among the aristocracy in Europe, known today as Chinoiserie (or “in the Chinese taste”). Distinguished for its imaginative, often fanciful, interpretations of Asian art, the Chinoiserie style soon came to Europe’s colonies in the Americas, where artisans produced spectacular painted “japanned” furniture and interior wall treatments that imitated Japanese and Chinese painted screens. Boston became a major center of japanning in the British colonies in the early eighteenth century, and interior decorative painting appeared in fashionable private homes in New England and elsewhere.  This talk will explore the technical aspects of Chinoiserie-style painting in New England and also explain how at the same time the style became popular in churches and private homes in the Spanish viceroyalties (Mexico and Guatemala) and in the Portuguese colony of Brazil.

© Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Dennis Carr is the Carolyn and Peter Lynch Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture in Art of the Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  He was a co-curator of the MFA’s award-winning 53-gallery Art of the Americas Wing and a contributing author to the books A New World Imagined: Art of the Americas (MFA, 2010), Painting a Map of Sixteenth-Century Mexico City: Land, Writing, and Native Rule (Yale University Press, 2012), Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia (MFA, 2015), and Art and Industry: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650—1830 (Yale, 2016).  He holds graduate degrees from Yale University in the History of Art and the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture.  He recently organized the critically acclaimed exhibition at the MFA, “Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia,” which was awarded grants by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Terra Foundation for American Art.


Conference Agenda

Wednesday, March 15

Time Presentation Speaker(s)
9:00am Opening Remarks Mary Jablonski (Jablonski Building Conservation, Inc.), Conference Committee Co-Chair
9:15am Welcome Address Jorge Otero-Pailos, Director, Columbia University Historic Preservation Program
9:45am Keynote Address: A Century of Color in America Doty Horn (Founding Director of Colorvoyant), USA
10:45am coffee break
Session 1: Micro to Macro, Case Studies I
11:15am Opening Remarks Session Moderator: Kirsten Travers Moffitt (Colonial Williamsburg Foundation), Conference Committee Co-Chair
11:20am Sir John Soane’s Forgotten Interiors, Pitzhanger Manor Rosemarie Shaw and Paul Humphreys (Hare and Humphreys), UK
11:40am The Original Appearance of the ‘Painted Chamber’ in Huis de Dieu, Alkmaar (1742-1745): the Discovery of a Remarkable Finish Ige Verslype (Delft University of Technology and Rijksmuseum), Hinke Sigmond (Sigmond Conservation and Restoration), Richard Harmanni (Independent Art Historian), Katrien Keune (Rijksmuseum), Margriet van Eikema Hommes (Delft University of Technology and Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands), Netherlands
12:00pm The Government Hospital for the Insane: A Finish Analysis of the Center Building, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Emily Aloiz and Amanda Edwards (John Milner Associates Preservation), USA
12:20pm Investigation of Paint Instability and Conservation Requirements for Decorative Auditorium Buildings and Library Ceilings Nancy Binnie, Wendy Baker, Elizabeth Moffat, Margaret-Ashley Veall, Kate Helwig, Jennifer Poulin (Canadian Conservation Institute), Canada
12:40pm 10 minute question and answer period
12:50pm lunch (provided)
Session 2: Non-Traditional and Overlooked Finishes
1:55pm Opening Remarks Session Moderator: Judy Jacob (National Park Service)
2:00pm Limewashed Island: Architectural Finish in Early Bermuda Edward Chappell and Kirsten Travers Moffitt (Colonial Williamsburg Foundation), USA
2:20pm Sgraffito Paintings Conservation in Israel Shay Farkash and Mika Tal, (Studio Tchelet) Israel
2:40pm K.B. Hallen: a Modernist Building in the Transition between Tradition and Industrial Evolution Johanne Mogensen (National Museum of Denmark), Denmark
3:00pm Making the Traditional Non-Traditional: the Architectural Finishes of Frank Lloyd Wright Dorothy Krotzer (Building Conservation Associates Inc.) and Lauren Drapala (DBVW Architects), USA
3:20pm 10 minute question and answer period
3:30pm coffee break
Session 3: Replication of Historic Finishes
4:00pm Opening Remarks Session Moderator: Mary Jablonski (Jablonski Building Conservation, Inc.), Conference Committee Co-Chair
4:05pm Challenges in distinguishing similar colours – what exactly is the difference between ochre and raw sienna? And of what importance is it in the context of APR and the replication of historical finishes? Anne Milnes (Paintings Conservator in Private Practice), Norway
4:25pm From Pigments to Parlor Walls: Contemporary Practice in the Reproduction of Historic Paints Christopher Mills (Christopher Mills Conservation Services, LLC), and Erika Sanchez Goodwillie (Freelance Historical Painter), USA
4:45pm Finding the Right Yellow: Fine Tuning a Color in Stenton’s Yellow Lodging Room Catherine Myers (Myers Conservation) and Laura Keim (Stenton), USA
5:05pm 10 minute question and answer period, and closing remarks


Thursday, March 16

Time Presentation Speaker(s)
9:00am Welcome & Introduction Kirsten Travers Moffitt (Colonial Williamsburg Foundation), Conference Committee Co-chair
9:05am Special Guest Lecture Dennis Carr (Carolyn and Peter Lynch Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), USA
Session 4: Wallpaper and Working Class Interiors
9:55am Opening Remarks Session Moderator: Brooke Young (EverGreene Architectural Arts)
10:00am Finishes for the American Home: DDT Clear Coatings and Wallpaper Judy Jacob (National Park Service), USA
10:20am The Tasteful Tenement: Forgotten Finishes at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum Stephanie Hoagland (Jablonski Building Conservation), USA
10:40am 5 minute question and answer period
10:45am coffee break
Session 5: APR Standards
11:00am Presentation from the APR Standards Committee formed at the Stockholm 2014 APR Conference Session Moderated by the APR Standards Committee
Panel Discussion to follow
12:00pm lunch (provided)
2:00pm Afternoon Tours
6:30pm - 9:00pm Evening Reception Start your evening at the APR reception for a true New York experience and then head out for dinner at one of NYC's innumerable restaurants. Whatever your culinary desire, you'll find it in New York! Bring your conference name tag for admission.


Friday, March 17

Time Presentation Speaker(s)
Session 6: Micro to Macro, Case Studies II
8:55am Opening Remarks Session Moderator: Catherine Matsen (Winterthur Museum Scientific Research and Analysis Laboratory)
9:00am Kalsomine Paint: a Maligned Finish Mary Jablonski (Jablonski Building Conservation), USA
9:20am Conservation Research on Architectural Ceiling Painting in Donghua Men (the East City Entrance Gate), Forbidden City Li Guanghua and Lei Yong (Palace Museum), China. This paper will be presented by Dr. Susan Buck (Paint Analyst and Conservator), USA.
9:40am Determining the Early Eighteenth-Century Colour Scheme of the ‘Golden Room’ in the Mauritshuis, The Hague Margriet van Eikema Hommes (Delft University of Technology and Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands) and Katrien Keune (Rijksmuseum), Netherlands
10:00am W.R. Emerson’s Eustis House: Interior Decorative Finishes of an Aesthetic Movement Masterpiece Amy Cole Ives (Sutherland Conservation and Consulting), USA
10:20am 10 minute question and answer session
10:30am coffee break
Session 7: Expanding the APR Toolbox
11:00am Opening Remarks Session Moderator: Amy Cole Ives (Sutherland Conservation and Consulting)
11:05am On-site Pre-embedding of Samples for Cross-sections Nynne R. Sethia (Den Gamle By), Denmark
11:25am Performing an Architectural Paint Research Digitally: Report on Developments Within Documentation Software Focussing on the Interpretation of Colours, Textures, and Painted Layers Edwin Verweij (Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research), Norway, and David Edvarson (K-Konservator), Sweden
11:45am Experiencing Ancient Polychromy at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Temple of Dendur Erin Peters (University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Museum of Natural History), USA, Matt Felsen (Independent Creative Technologist), and Maria Paula Saba (ALICE - Hospitality Operations Platform)
12:05pm Utilization/Interpretation of Paint Cross-Sections to Characterize Preparatory and Design Layers to Guide and Inform Decorative Paint Exposure Work Melissa McGrew (Building Conservation Associates), USA
12:25pm 10 minute question and answer session
12:35pm lunch (provided)
Session 8: Decorative Arts Trust Student Scholars Session
1:55pm Opening Remarks Session Moderator: Claudia Kavenaugh (Building Conservation Associates)
2:00pm 'Derailing' the Myth of Gilded Age Decoration: a Case Study of the Painted Decoration in the Grand Isle Private Car Emily Wroczynski (Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation), USA
2:15pm Exterior Colour Schemes of Historic Wooden Buildings in the Kassisaba District of Tallinn, Estonia Claudia Valge (Cultural Heritage and Conservation/Estonian Academy of Arts), Estonia
2:30pm Analytical Techniques in Architectural Paint Research: When is Enough, Enough? Meredith Freeman, doctoral student, Conservation of Cultural Heritage (University of Lincoln), UK
2:45pm 10 minute question and answer session
2:55pm coffee break
Session 9: Powers of Ten, The Big Picture
3:30pm Opening Remarks Session Moderator: Stephanie Hoagland (Jablonski Building Conservation, Inc.)
3:35pm History of Painted Facades from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century in the Flemish Region of Belgium Ann Verdonck (Independent Paint Analyst and Researcher and Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel), and Marjolein Deceuninck (Independent Paint Analyst and Researcher), Belgium
3:55pm Understanding Popular Early Twentieth Century Architectural Painting Schemes in Singapore Kang Shua Yeo and Tan U-Xan (Singapore University of Technology and Design/Conservation Studio), Singapore
4:15pm Identifying Original Finish Layers on Twentieth Century Dutch Architectural Steel Surfaces Angelique Friedrichs and Stijn Lenaerts (Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg), Mariel Polman (RCE/Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands), and Lisette Kappers (Independent Architectural Paint Researcher, Architect, and Building Historian), Netherlands
4:35pm 10 minute question and answer session
4:45pm Closing Remarks and Conclusion 2017 APR Conference Committee