The Victoria Art Gallery needs £4226 + VAT to restore important watercolours from a group of 100 by Adela Breton (1849-1923), a remarkable Bath archaeological artist.
During Adela’s childhood her father took her to meetings of the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution which inspired her later travels.
After caring for her elderly parents, in her 40s, Breton travelled in Europe, Mexico, USA, Canada and Japan. She was no ordinary tourist, as wherever she went she recorded the local architecture, geology and plant life in watercolours.
We believe that while in Bath she used her watercolours for lectures. Preparation for display involved firmly gluing them onto cheap, highly acidic cardboard which has now degraded, leaving most severely foxed and damaged. Because of the way Breton glued them down, these works are slowly being destroyed. They are so firmly attached that conservation will be laborious and very expensive.
Adela Breton made a major contribution to Mayan archaeology. She produced detailed studies of newly excavated temples at major Mesoamerican sites, including Chichen Itza.
The images are in some instances the only record of lost monuments and particularly of fragile, vulnerable, now lost wall paintings.