I recently had some tasks to complete out at the Pry House Field Hospital Museum. The Pry farm is gorgeous this time of year, and I will freely admit that I chose my Pry work day after consulting the weather forecast! I was able to enjoy a beautiful sunny day there, while still doing my work.
I worked in a room which was closed off from the display areas in the house, so that I didn’t have to worry about the dust or paint fumes affecting the artifacts or the visitors! I was also careful to protect the floor from any paint drips by laying down some sheets of plastic. After a quick sanding and dusting of the cases, I was able to get the first coat of paint on both cases that morning.
While I waited for the paint to dry, I worked on a few other issues in the displays. I hid some pest strips in strategic areas, to cut down on the number of insects in the house. Though we take as many precautions as possible to prevent insects from entering the house, historic buildings tend to have little cracks and gaps which still allow entry to some pests.
You may recall a post I did back in January about the Letterman desk which is on display at the Pry House. (You can read that one here: http://guardianoftheartifacts.blogspot.com/2014/01/in-light_5040.html ) There was an issue with the amount of light to which it was being exposed. Though curtains were installed in the windows to block much of the sunlight, I mentioned that I wanted to put a blue wool standard card on the desk to monitor the issue. Shortly after that post, the entire desk was covered since the house was closed to the public for the winter. I didn’t need to worry about monitoring its light exposure at that point!
All too quickly, lunch time was over and I had to get back to my painting.
Finally, there was the little matter of cleaning up the mess! It was certainly worth the effort to repaint those cases though. Now the paint can “cure” for a few weeks while we work on the display of Civil War medicines which will go into these cases.
Photos courtesy of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine.
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