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Period Decorative Painting Bids Sought

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

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The U.S. State Department is seeking decorative painters to help maintain and repaint the storied Diplomatic Reception Rooms at the Harry S. Truman Building in Washington, D.C.

Bids are due March 22. The contract, open to small businesses, is a blanket purchase agreement for one base year plus four option years.

Mansion Models

Modeled in the tradition of leading interior decorating designs during the time of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Chew, and John MacPherson, the Diplomatic Reception Rooms are patterned after those historic figures' homes: Monticello, Cliveden, and Mt. Pleasant, respectively.

The Gallery
Photos: https://diplomaticrooms.state.gov

The Gallery was designed in 1965. Architect Edward Vason Jones modeled the Diplomatic Reception Room after the Palladian designs popular during the time of Thomas Jefferson.

Designed by by architects Walter Macomber, Edward Vason Jones, and John Blatteau, the rooms were finished in paint and painting techniques true to the historical eras they replicated.

The first to be renovated was The Gallery, designed in 1965 by Jones. The initial renovation project was complete by 1989, covering eras of interior style from 1725 to 1825.

The rooms require an ongoing maintenance program that best suits their needs and those of their current environment.

Project Details

The rooms will be historically preserved by using painting techniques such as trompe l’oeil, stenciling, graining, marbleizing, faux bois and faux marbre. Demonstrated proficiency in the latter two techniques is a must.

Benjamin Franklin State Dining Room

The Benjamin Franklin State Dining Room was designed by architect John Blatteau and completed in 1985. The room features free-standing scagliola Corinthian columns.

The contractor will also work with period-appropriate surface materials such as ornamental elements hand-carved in plaster; faux-graining architectural elements along the lines of alcoves, balustrades, and Doric and Corinthian columns; and mortise-and-tenon paneling.

Because the original paint is often concealed under additional layers, an assessment of the surfaces will be required to determine whether to preserve, rehabilitate, or restore the paint.

The contractor must also devise a plan to prevent surface damage from water, abrasion, contaminants and light, and must determine how the finishes will look in various types of light.

Painting techniques true to the historical period will be used. These include applying a non-uniform coloration to surfaces using coarse pigments and an uneven surface texture, which was the result of early paint brushes.

Martha Washington Ladies Lounge

The original curator of Martha Washington Ladies’ Lounge volunteered to oversee its prior renovation.

The composition will be replicated with the use of tinted glazes based on natural pigments. A thorough knowledge of the history of interior design, including regional and revival styles, is required. The artist must also be familiar with synthetic colorants such as admixture of turpentine for a relatively flat or glossy texture used during the late Colonial and early Federal periods.

The artist must also have an understanding of incompatible paints like acrylic latex, oil and alkyd, and calcimine when information about original paints is not available.

Experts Only

Prospective bidders must be considered experts in decorative painting by top museums in the U.S. and will consult with the Curator of Collections as a technical expert.

Applicants must have extensive experience with museums and government collections. This work must be consistent with AIC and AAM standards.

Reported by Paint BidTracker, a construction reporting service devoted to identifying contracting opportunities for the coatings community.

   

Tagged categories: Artists; Bidding; Business types; Contractors; Decorative painting; Government contracts; Historic Preservation

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