St. Francis Xavier CathedralGreen Bay, Wisconsin
St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Green Bay, Wisconsin was originally constructed in 1882. During the early decades of the parish, artists created a series of ten 5-Feet high by 8-Feet wide murals on canvas adorning the clerestory, and a large 50-Feet wide by 36-Feet high Crucifixion scene painted on plaster at the front of the church. The paintings were cleaned in the 1930s, but remained untouched until 2014 when church leaders reached out to Conrad Schmitt Studios for an evaluation and treatment plan for care of the priceless artwork.
CSS conservators conducted careful testing to determine the gentlest, effective means for removing decades of accumulated soot, grime and discolored varnish from the paintings – and helped church leaders develop a detailed budget and schedule for the project.
In 2017, a team of CSS artists and conservators completed detailed restoration of the murals, revealing their exquisite artistry and restoring vitality to the space. CSS artists also repaired damage to the detailed stenciled and gilded walls, cleaned and repaired statuary, and designed and painted new decoration at the altar screen and side shrines. The work was part of a larger restoration of the cathedral that included roof repairs, new flooring and re-finished pews.