A major work rediscovered
Previously, the whereabouts of one of the largest paintings by Alfredo Ramos Martinez was widely unknown in the art community. Now for the first time in 80 years, Martinez’s monumental 9-by-12-foot painting, Flores Mexicanas, is the focal point of a special exhibit at the Missouri History Museum titled Flores Mexicanas: a Lindbergh Love Story, currently on view. Known as the “Father of Mexican Modernism,” Martinez’s piece needed significant conservation treatment, which included cleaning to remove layers of discolored varnish and grime that had accumulated over the last 90 years.the ornate hand-carved wooden frame was also carefully cleaned and losses in its gesso have been filled.
Senior paintings conservator Kristy Jeffcoat works on cleaning Flores Mexicanas at the Midwest Art Conservation Center using an engineered aqueous solution applied with cotton swabs. Photo courtesy of the Missouri Historical Society.