After an extensive restoration, Dr. Jackson’s office will re-open on Saturday, July 4th.
Here you can see the fresh paint almost completed.The exterior had been grey since its arrival at The Farmers’ Museum in the 1950s. However, we learned through a paint analysis that the grey color was added in the 1870s, during the last doctor’s occupancy. When Dr. Elhanan Jackson used the office in the 1840s, it was white. During a paint analysis, professionals remove small areas of paint down to the original wood and use a high-powered microscope to read all of the layers. Then, through additional analysis, they determine the original colors – or any other color along the building’s history. Most Greek Revival style buildings like Dr. Jackson’s Office, seen throughout New York State in the 1840s, were also painted white. It was the color of Roman ruins and represented democracy, prosperity and refinement. (You can even see the inspirational scenes across the street at Fenimore Art Museum.) Although I personally think white is a little boring, when we know the accurate and appropriate color from a historic paint analysis, we have to use it. Sometimes ignorance is bliss -- and more exciting. Since we weren't sure exactly what paint was used inside the office, I made some bold (and historically accurate) choices. Stay tuned next week for more photos from the installation process.