Posted: Jan 4, 2013 8:51 AM by Laura Wilson - MTN News
KALISPELL - More than a dozen historic paintings that were thrown away are now getting a second life thanks to a local family's interest in the murals in restoring life to the large Glacier National Park works of art.
When Glacier National Park remodeled its lodges, the 15 murals that had originally decorated them were thrown out, but fortunately, they were saved by a couple out of West Glacier.
The murals were then passed down to their granddaughter and her husband, who donated them to the Hockaday Museum of Art in memory of their grandparents.
Next week, the first fully restored mural will make its debut in Kalispell after local art conservator and restorer Joe Abbrescia elected to restore all 15 murals.
He offered up free labor on the first mural, which took about 20 hours to complete, with Abbrescia telling us there's a lot of damage on the mural's surfaces.
He says on a scale from 1-to-10, with 10 being the largest amount of damage, the first mural he worked on only came in around a two.
But Abbrescia says many of the other murals are in the eight-to-10 range, a challenge he says he's up for over the next few years.
"Some of it can be tedious and time consuming, but the real end reward is being able to have them back on display and have people be able to enjoy them like they did whenever these came out of the hotel," he explained.
"It's neat to have something that's been packed away for years, and nobody's seen it, and then bring it back, Abbrescia added.
The first completed mural will be revealed next Thursday at the Hockaday Museum, in Kalispell, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and the event is open to the public.