Grant Wood Sleeping Porch Conservation Recognized

Brucemore Wins 2014 AASLH Award of Merit

September 19th, 2014

130917_Brucemore-066_revised.jpgThe American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces that Brucemore is the recipient of an Award of Merit from the AASLH Leadership in History Awards for the stabilization and conservation of the Grant Wood Sleeping Porch. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 69th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

This year, AASLH is proud to confer seventy-seven national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, books, and organizations. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history. Presentation of the awards will be made at a special banquet during the 2014 AASLH Annual Meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Friday, September 19. The banquet is supported by a generous contribution from the History Channel. The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States.  The AASLH Leadership in History Awards not only honor significant achievement in the field of state and local history, but also bring public recognition of the opportunities for small and large organizations, institutions, and programs to make contributions in this arena.  For more information about the Leadership in History Awards, contact AASLH at 615-320-3203, or go to

About the conservation of Brucemore’s Grant Wood Sleeping Porch

In 2013, Brucemore engaged a team of professional conservators to clean, consolidate, stabilize, and conserve the Grant Wood Sleeping Porch. The porch, valued at over $3.5 million, features a plaster relief, designed and applied in 1925 by renowned regionalist artist Grant Wood. The conservators revealed vivid colors, identified materials, and exposed Wood’s techniques.  Wood coated the masonry walls of the sleeping porch in a plaster relief, crafting stylized woodland animals playfully situated on vines climbing the walls. The plaster was then coated with multiple layers of paint washes to decorate the surface texture and ornament. This may not be the only work of this kind in the world, but research has proven it to be exceedingly rare. Today, the mural is by far the most valuable work of art in the Brucemore collection.  The conservation work ensures that this unique element of cultural history is preserved for future generations.

About the American Association for State and Local History

The American Association for State and Local History is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history.  From its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, AASLH provides leadership, service, and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful in American society.  AASLH publishes books, technical publications, a quarterly magazine, and monthly newsletter.  The association also sponsors regional and national training workshops and an annual meeting.