Vanka’s bold murals face age and conditions that naturally occur in an old church atop a hill.
The preservation of the murals is being led by fine arts conservator Rikke Foulke. In 2022, the conservation team include conservators: Ana Alba, Patricia Buss, Cindy Fiorini, Cricket Harbeck, Jessica Keister, Patty Huss West and Rhonda Wozniak. Conservation technicians: Kate Pirilla and Aaron Regal.
Conservation of the Battlefield Scenes made by possible by: Snee Reinhardt Charitable
Foundation, Opportunity Fund and many generous individuals during the 2016 Pittsburgh Gives
Day of Giving.
Conservation of St. Francis and St. Clare was completed in partnership with the Rivers of Steel Heritage Area. Funding was provided in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, Environmental Stewardship Fund, administered by the Rivers of Steel Heritage Corporation.
The grant was matched through the generosity of: Julia Bubanovich, Christie Clayton and Michael Burkitt, Marya and John Halderman (on behalf of the Vanka Family), Janet Kafka, John A. Martine, Melissa McSwigan and Robert Raczka, Jennifer Novotny Mulrooney, Rita Perstac, Julia Royall, and Barb Spelic.
Through the support of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the Heinz Endowments, the Vanka Murals completed a Keystone Planning Grant in 2021 that defined the scope of Phase II of conservation: Old Testament, New Testament, the four Evangelists, Transcendent Vision and the Apostles flanking the main altar.
With a portion of the Save America’s Treasures grant dedicated to the conservation of these murals and other investments in long-term preservation of the Vanka Murals, the conservation team will return to the walls of St. Nicholas in 2023.