La Salle University Art Museum
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Head of Christ

Violet Oakley

Head of Christ, 1945

Charcoal and White Heightening on Paper



Violet Oakley was a successful illustrator and muralist in Philadelphia during the late 19th and 20th centuries. Her style was influenced by Pre-Raphaelites, incorporating great color and luminosity into her work. Like the Pre-Raphaelites, Oakley also strove to incorporate her philosophies into her art, frequently referring to her own beliefs as a pacifist, feminist, and socialist. First a student and later a faculty member at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Oakley was the first woman to receive the Gold Medal of Honor from PAFA. 

Current Condition of the Artwork:

The drawing paper is mounted to an acidic board with poor quality, deteriorated, and discolored dry mount paper. The paper is currently in good condition, but the improper mount will affect the drawing’s long-term preservation. 

Conservation Treatment Proposed: 

  • Remove drawing paper from the acidic paper window mat and backing board, which will be discarded.
  • Mend/reinforce with Japanese paper and wheat starch paste.
  • Humidify and flatten.
  • All materials used will be appropriate and conservation quality. All work will adhere to the highest standards of the field. 

Estimated Cost of Treatment:  $1,200.00