Conserving Historic Watercolor Paintings

In the 19th century, Gunnar Widforss’ paintings of national parks were called “the finest to have come out of the West.” These watercolor paintings remain highly sought-after masterpieces from a time when public awareness of parks depended entirely on artistic representations. The Yosemite Museum has dozens of pieces, but the Widforss paintings on display at The Ahwahnee are considered among his best Yosemite work.

Preserving Historic Masterpieces

This project restored eight Widforss paintings on display at The Ahwahnee that are reserved museum property. Using highly specialized techniques, a professional conservator replaced the failing backings with archival materials. Without this treatment, the paintings would have eventually disintegrated, causing the loss of valuable historic artwork.

With your support, we are ensuring that Yosemite’s historical artwork endures for future generations to admire.

More Historic Preservation Projects

Map of Your Impact

From the reintroduction of bighorn sheep to restoration of Yosemite’s legendary trails, your support has made an impact in every corner of the park.