24 January 2015

Murals - Sottile Theater

Sottile Theater, Charleston, S.C.
What, I ask you, what the heck is going on with this mural? I've always liked the Sottile Theater but there was some oddness in the decor last night. There is no mural on one side, this splotchy project on the other and no more twinkling stars in the ceiling. I assume this is some kind of renovation project but can't figure out what the marks are. Anyone got a clue?

Edit: Never mind. A little research answered my own question. Their history site is quite fascinating.
As the College of Charleston made improvements to the Sottile Theatre in early 2011, it discovered two large-scale murals hiding beneath acoustic tiles. Painted on canvas by Italian artists from New York City during the theatre's construction in the 1920s, one scene depicts a centaur and nymphs before a forested and mountainous background. The other shows Classical figures celebrating music and drama before a blue-green sea. The murals were unveiled in 1927 during the theatre's grand opening.
The College of Charleston has started to restore these masterpieces, already removing one mural for safekeeping and repair. The other mural has been uncovered and left hanging, its blemishes, damage and deterioration on display to theatre patrons, including the audiences of Spoleto Festival USA. Much of the restoration work will involve remediation of the many spots of glue used to attach acoustic tiles to the murals decades ago.