The frescos by Conrad Albrizio at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum(LSEM) in Shreveport, Louisiana, were painted in 1938 at the time of the building’s completion. The fresco cycle, composed of four panels, represents North and South Louisiana and their respective industries during the 1930’s. The paintings are located outdoors in the covered entrance portico facing in a northerly direction, and the total decorated surface measures approximately 710 square feet. The fresco technique is rare in the United States, and the LSEM painting would have been one of the first outdoor frescos in the country at the time of its execution.
In 2001, a comprehensive conservation treatment was undertaken to repair deterioration of the paintings due to their constant exposure to the elements. The frescos were in poor condition, afflicted by both extensive paint powdering and significant areas of loss. Rain, abrasive dust particles and hail carried into the portico by wind are documented to have reached parts of all four panels. Analysis revealed the presence of calcium sulfate deterioration particularly in the lower quadrants.
Conservation measures in 2001 consisted of non-evasive cleaning, grouting, general repair, and pictorial restoration. Antisulfatization measures and regeneration of the plaster and pigment using the barium method and the method of calcium hydroxide dispersions were carried out using techniques strictly compatible with the mineral nature of the fresco. Chemical analysis and support was provided by the University of Florence, CNR.