“Purpose of Life” by Robert Oliver Skemp (Hyde Park Mural) Update


I was asked for a quick update on the progress of the mural by Robert Oliver Skemp we removed from the Hyde Park Chapel in London, England: We are cleaning the reverse side of the glue etc that stayed on the back of the canvas of the mural when we pulled it off the wall.

Removing glue from the mural

Removing vinyl paste adhesive from the back of mural.

Here it is laid out, face down, as we go through the difficult task of getting the adhesive off the back without damaging the mural. This is something that must always be done when removing a mural from a wall.

This Thursday, the admin from BYU Idaho will come to Fine Art Conservation Laboratories (FACL, Inc.) in Santa Barbara to see the mural for the first time (its been donated to BYUI) and to discuss the treatments and the options for mounting it on a wall at the university. Should be a nice viist. We are all looking forward to it.

Here’s the video about the removal process in London:

Here’s the initial announcement of going to England to remove the mural: http://www.fineartconservationlab.com/murals/mural-removal-hyde-park-mural-project-in-london-england/

About Scott Haskins

Scott M. Haskins has been in the field of professional art conservation since 1975. He studied and worked doing mural and painting conservation in Italy until 1979. He headed up the painting conservation laboratory at Brigham Young University for the BYU Permanent Art Collection and the LDS HIstorical Department until 1984. He works from Santa Barbara, CA providing art conservation services nationwide. He is also the author of "How To Save Your Stuff From A Disaster."
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8 Responses to “Purpose of Life” by Robert Oliver Skemp (Hyde Park Mural) Update

  1. Jody Brockhausen says:

    Please provide a print of this beautiful image! I would buy one. Oh, yes and bookmarks! Very important to remind the young people about marriage and family. Would be beautiful to hang together with the Proclamation on the Family. Please let me know your plans for printing. Also, please let us know if you plan a video of the unveiling, would Love to see it!

    • Scott Haskins says:

      The painting belongs to BYU Idaho so you’ll have to wait for them to sell copies. The unveiling date hasn’t been set yet. I’ll announce it when its is known. Thanks for commenting.

  2. San Crandall says:

    This was a wonderful discovery since it is our father who was the muralist for this work of art. Having not seen the mural since it left his studio in Westport, Connecticut, it was a most welcome viewing. Thanks for making a video of this project. I will save it for future viewings.

    • Scott Haskins says:

      San, It’s great to hear from you. Does the family have drawings of this mural or other LDS inspired works of art? We should do another blog post article about him?

  3. jennifer skemp o'grady says:

    My oldest son found this and forwarded it to me. Artist Robert Skemp is my father. the original mural is in the Mormon church of the Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City in Utah. I didnt remember another one being in Britain. This was very interesting and well done. I’m pleased to find that this one is coming home to the U.S. Well done.
    Jenny O’Grady

    • Scott Haskins says:

      Jennifer, This is the original mural that belongs to the LDS Church. I’m not aware of another copy or another version of it in SLC. As I said in the video, this mural was painted for the Mormon Pavilion at the 1962 NY World’s Fair and then moved to England two years later. Does the family have drawings of this mural or other LDS inspired works of art by him? We should do another blog post article about him?

  4. Ann Marie Atkinson says:

    Thank you for the name of the artist. My very first assignment dealing with church art, was to scrape the glue off the back of the huge murals that Sidney King did for the New York World’s Fair in 1964-65. They were face down on the floor, at the feet of the Christus, in the North Visitors Center. It would be the experience that has given me the love of art, that has lasted my entire life. We will be in L. A. for the blessing of a grand-son on March 18th. Will the “The Purpose of Life”, still be in Santa Barbara on the 19th? If the painting is still there and you are also, I would love to see if we could work it out, so that I could record your life history, for the church history Dept. I loved the video. Thank you. Sister Ann Marie Atkinson

    • Scott Haskins says:

      Hi Ann,
      Yes, the weekend of March 18th looks good and the mural will still be in SB. Let me know what days you would like to connect.
      805 564 3438 office
      805 570 4140 mobile

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