Lindley Estes covers the University of Mary Washington for and The Free Lance-Star. You can email her at 
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Belmont showcases restored dining room

Belmont, the Gari Melchers Home and Studio, is now showing the home’s restored dining room , which after two years of work is refurbished to exhibit how it looked when the artist lived there, according to a University of Mary Washington release.

This project is part of a continuing 20-year effort to restore the buildings and gardens of Belmont to their 1920s appearance.

Due to the effects of light, temperature and age, the furniture in the room no longer represented of the surroundings where the Melchers, Gari and his wife Corinne, entertained in the 1920s.

The restoration included refurbishing of nine original dining chairs, four of which were reupholstered in silk fabric similar to the original seat covers.

Furniture conservators also repaired the dining room table, the original 104-year-old drapes and mended a large Persian Mahal carpet.

Furniture conservator William Ivey of Richmond and upholstery conservator Jennifer Zemanek of Cobbs Creek, Va., completed the chair work for the dining room. Rug conservator Spier Rahn repaired the carpet, according to the release

The house, studio and several other structures have also been fully restored. The carriage house was converted into a visitor center and the formal gardens have been restored to their original design.

According to the release, the dining room project at Belmont was the highest priority on the museum’s collection conservation list.

See a picture of the restored room here.


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