Kitty King Powell Gallery (16)

Named in honor of the generous philanthropist Kitty King Powell, this gallery allows a much closer examination of the coffered ceiling than from the second floor below. The carved balustrade, or railing, is similar to the one in the library of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain.  Set below the balustrade is a frieze--a broad horizontal turquoise-painted band--with a series of disks. The disks are made of paper mache and possibly portray the 5 great libraries of the world, including the Great Library at Alexandria.

The coffered ceiling was restored in the early part of 2011. Artisans worked for months repairing and replacing the plaster rosettes and wooden panels. The colors are as close to the original paint as is possible today. To determine which colors were used, the restoration team analyzed microscopic chips of the original paint. To reach the ceiling scaffolding was constructed on the second floor, reaching all the way up.