Theater Curtain, O’Keefe Opera House


This hand painted theatre curtain came from the Johnsburg Historical Society. It had been used at the O’Keefe Opera House during the early 20th century, and was being treated in preparation for display at the Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek. The central section, which featured a waterfront scene and advertisements, had had a primer and ground layer applied at the time of fabrication. However, the painted drapery had no such ground, which resulted in the light bound media leaching into the cotton fabric and thus creating a very powdery, almost pastel like paint.


The powdering paint in this section needed to be consolidated which was achieved with an airbrush that created a gentle and thin layer of adhesive. Following consolidation, the surface was lightly cleaned. Distortions in the fabric were removed with the introduction of moistureand then tears and holes were repaired after realigning fibers. Following repairs, the curtain was prepared for hanging by having Velcro attached to webbing and then sewn onto the curtain with a herringbone stitch.