Thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Texas Historical Foundation (THF), the Conservation Society Foundation hired a professional objects conservator to rectify some of the damage caused when vandals broke into the Yturri-Edmunds house museum in the fall of 2022. Some of the broken artifacts included a handmade doll representing an African American woman and a hand-cranked music box with mechanical figures.
In June, conservator Morgan Burgess assessed and worked on eight damaged objects, tailoring her treatments to the environment of the unairconditioned house museum. One challenge she faced was selecting adhesives that wouldn’t soften in the heat.
The pictures below show Morgan at work in the (airconditioned) carriage house on the grounds. Sadly, not enough papier mache pieces could be found to reconstruct the African American doll’s head. Morgan did succeed in reuniting the organ grinder on the music box with his.
What a difference a good cleaning made in revealing some of the finer details!
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The Society also received a very generous $20,000 grant from the Summerlee Foundation in May. Although some of the funds helped supplement the object conservation work, the bulk will be used for much needed repairs to the adobe brick house.
Critical needs to be addressed by master craftsmen include large cracks in the walls and the loss of protective plaster both inside and out. The front porch, which runs the length of the house, is also in disrepair.
We look forward to starting work in the fall and being able to reopen this unique museum in the near future.