Online Talk: Another Shade of Blue: Paint Discoveries in Nineteenth-Century Urban Slave Quarters and Service Spaces

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Tuesday, 18 January, 2022 - 13:00

Susan L. Buck, PhD, Conservator and Paint Analyst

The most compelling and mysterious paints in several intact urban slave quarters and service spaces in Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina may be the chalky blue washes that survive on protected areas of walls and ceilings. What are these paints and what might they mean for the interpretation of these work areas and chambers? Subjecting paint samples to cross-section and polarized-light microscopy has revealed multiple pigmented and unpigmented limewashes in the Owens-Thomas House, the Aiken-Rhett House, the Nathaniel Russell House, and the Heyward-Washington House. Similar early-19th-century blue-pigmented paints have been found in other kitchen-laundry buildings and carriage houses of comparable importance. This presentation will describe how these paints were analyzed and offers new insights into their compositions and relative dates.

Webinar via Zoom (free)
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