We Get By with a Lot of Help From Our Friends: Deakin Project Update

By Monica Orozco

Marc and Pauline Sylvain presenting a generous donation to help fund the conservation of the Deakin paintings. Photo credit: Louise Matz.

Marc and Pauline Sylvain presenting a generous donation to help fund the conservation of the Deakin paintings. Photo credit: Louise Matz.

We have amazing friends! Thanks to so many wonderful people, our “adopt a mission painting” campaign to find sponsors for conserving the 21 painting of California Missions by Edwin Deakin got off to a tremendous start and is on the home stretch! We have only 4 paintings left looking for sponsors.

Marc and Pauline Sylvain’s leadership gift helped launch our efforts to have this historically significant and beautiful collection of paintings restored. This collection was originally donated to the Franciscan Friars by Howard and Elaine Willoughby almost 60 years ago and have been entrusted to the care of the Santa Bárbara Mission Archive-Library. The Sylvains offered to match donations designated for this project up to $20,000.00. We then received a generous donation from the John Gherini Charitable Trust and two early sponsors Gary and Louise Matz stepped in.

Interest in partnering with us on this conservation project grew rapidly, especially after art conservator Scott Haskin’s (Fine Art Conservation Laboratories) presentation on May 22, 2014. By the end of that evening we had paintings sponsored by the Franciscan Friar Community of Old Mission Santa Barbara, Mary Louise Days, Gary Matz with Roger and Dr. Cheryl Deconde Johnson, and the Heppner/Mackey Family.

Soon after, Phila Rogers, daughter of Howard and Elaine Willoughby, and her daughter Nancy Law, visited the Archive-Library. This was an emotional reunion as Ms. Rogers recalled her memories of the collection displayed in her family home. During that visit, Ms. Rogers generously became the sponsor of the painting of Mission San Buenaventura.

Our efforts to inform people of the opportunity to partner with SBMAL in this conservation project received a tremendous boost from local news outlets including the Santa Barbara Independent, and local appraiser Elizabeth Stewart’s column in the Santa Barbara News Press, which brought us Charlotte and Ken Richardson, sponsors of three of the paintings! And most recently, Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara (well known in our community for organizing the yearly Fiesta events) became a sponsor.

Thanks to all our wonderful friends, we have only four paintings remaining to be “adopted,” so if you are interested in partnering with us, I urge you to act quickly! Those paintings still in need of sponsors are Mission San Diego de Alcalá, Mission San Luis Rey, Mission San Francisco de Asís (Dolores), and Mission San Juan Bautista.

You can reach Monica Orozco by email (director@sbmal.org) or by phone at (805) 682-4713 ext. 152 if you are interested in information about how you can help us with this or other projects.

Thank you to all our wonderful friends who have helped us spread the word about this project and who have generously donated to help us with our conservation efforts!

Here is the complete list of donors to date:

Leadership Gifts:
Marc and Pauline Sylvain
John Gherini Charitable Trust

“Adopt a Mission Painting” Sponsors:Anonymous
Mary Louise Days
Franciscan Friars of Old Mission Santa Barbara
Tom and Cindy Gherini
Heppner/Mackey Family
Roger and Dr. Cheryl Deconde Johnson
Gary and Louise Matz
Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara
Gerald and Virginia Petrini
John and Maryella Petrini
Rice/Toops/Davis Family
Charlotte and Ken Richardson
Phila Rogers and Family
Barbara Rosenblum
Abby and Tom Treloggen

Kathi Brewster
William Burtness

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