Thanks to the support of our members and donors, FNLPM is able to grant funding to the New London Public Museum each year for projects and initiatives above and beyond its day-to-day operating budget. Over $60,000 in grants have been made by FNLPM to the Museum since 2012, including:
Conservation of the Red Geranium Tea Room Sign
Funded with a grant from Friends of the New London Public Museum, the Midwest Art Conservation Center (MACC) in Minneapolis, MN helped the New London Public Museum
preserve its circa 1931 Red Geranium Tea Room Sign.
According to the New London Public Museum, the Red Geranium Tea Room sign was painted by local sign painter
and photographer Louis Kurszevski around 1932. The sign was donated to the museum in 1987 by David Moriarity. It is the only item in the museum’s collection from the tea room which was located on the corner of West Beacon Avenue and Smith Street in New London from 1931 until around 1949.
The sign is a double sided sign measuring 44” x 32” and hangs in the museum’s local history section. Prior to this conservative restoration project in 2020, the condition of the sign had been deteriorating; the paint was flaking and there were areas of complete paint loss. Additionally there were concerns about the condition of the metal and the stability of the frame.
The goal was preservation of the historic sign, not making it look brand new. MACC cleaned and stabilized the paint, assessed and corrected any underlying issues, stabilized the frame, etc. The project did not include in-painting, re-painting or color-correcting the sign.
The Red Geranium Tea Room served luncheons and dinners, and was also available for parties.