The Black & White House Museum wall paintings date back to the late 16th century

Collage of B&W House wall paintings before and after restoration

Black & White House Museum wall paintings before (left) and after (right) restoration

Two 400-year-old paintings are once again on display to the public following the successful completion of a delicate and intricate restoration project.

The wall paintings, located in Herefordshire Council’s Black & White House Museum, relate to the Book of Genesis and the story involving Joseph and Pharaoh. It is believed they date to the late 16th century and derive from a series of four woodcuts, on the theme of the Joseph story, included in a book of biblical stories produced by Virgil Solis and first published in Nuremburg in 1562.

The paintings originally came from a house at No. 5 Widemarsh Street in Hereford where they were discovered in 1888. They were removed from their original location and installed in the Black & White House in 1947. 

Collage of conservators restoring Black & White House Museum wall paintings

Conservators Stephen Rickerby and Lisa Shekede work to restore Black & White House Museum wall paintings

However, over the years, the paintings have inevitably suffered some deterioration, so conservators, Stephen Rickerby and Lisa Shekede, spent weeks carefully cleaning and repairing them. Among the priorities for the conservators was to stabilise the plaster that the paintings have been painted on to.

Grant aid was awarded from the Pilgrim Trust to cover the £10,000 cost.

Julia Radburn, Museum Supervisor, said:

“The paintings look wonderful, the transformation has been amazing. The work undertaken by Stephen and Lisa will ensure these two beautiful pieces of art can be enjoyed for many years to come.”

The Black & White House Museum is open on Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10am to 4pm, and on Sundays from 11.30am to 2.30pm.

Published: Friday, 11th January 2019