The Conservation History of William Henry Huddle’s Marble Falls

When the painting arrived at the Dallas Museum of Art in 1959, the original canvas was severely distorted, and the paint had lifted sharply along all of the drying cracks. 


The canvas was infused with wax in order to relax the canvas distortions and stabilize the lifting paint. The picture was then attached to a solid support (seen here from the reverse). Although this was an accepted conservation practice at the time, such invasive treatments are no longer used. 


By 2013, the natural resin varnish, which would have been clear when first applied by a restorer in 1959, had darkened considerably. 


An ultraviolet fluorescence photograph reveals the vertical streaks of the discolored natural resin varnish, which indicates that the brush application was originally very uneven. 


The discolored natural resin varnish was removed, revealing the true colors of the original composition—notably the clear blue sky. A few minor losses are visible at the left and right edges.