Digital Museum Archives
Explore the Mission’s museum collections digitally through images and videos and learn more about the history of the Mission. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and discover interesting “Did you Know” facts posted often from our Museum Registrar.
Discover rare and never-before-seen historical images from our museum archives. We welcome you to explore the photo archives to see more captivating images of the Mission dating as far back as the late 1800s! View a photo of the live NBC broadcast of St. Joseph’s Day and Return of the Swallows on March 19, 1939 or a photo of President Richard Nixon visiting the Mission with his wife in 1969.
Reveal of Station of the Cross XII Painting
In 2013 after completing the Gate House Preservation Project, Mission San Juan Capistrano’s Executive Director, Mechelle Lawrence Adams decided it was time to investigate the curious painted image of Station XII in the Serra Chapel as the canvas within that frame did not sit properly. Working with the Museum Registrar, Jennifer Ring, and the Preservation Manager, Sam U’Ren, the team brought in art conservator, Susan Brown to investigate the existing Station of the Cross XII painting.
As a result of the investigation, it was revealed that what lay beneath the image was the original work painted in the year 1800. Hidden for 40 years under a replica, the video here shows the exciting discovery! Says Mechelle Lawrence Adams, “It was always my hunch that something was askew about the painting but for the lack of records we all assumed the painting was original. That intuition, to my great relief rather than embarrassment, proved true when Ms. Brown so carefully investigated the situation. It was indeed a very special moment for all of us to witness.”
After its historic discovery the Mission team went on to seek a conservation plan, and with the generous lead matching gift from long time Mission friends, Jan and Honorable H. Warren Siegel, the grand total of $57,000 that was needed to save the painting was raised. The painting was ultimately conserved along with the modern reproduction which is now housed in the Archives
When one visits the historic Serra Chapel and sees the beauty of the Crucifixion painting, they see the contributions of a community that helped to bring the image back to its original state. As part of preservation month we celebrate stewards like the Siegels for helping to bring history back to life. Learn more about Station of the Cross XII Painting.
Mission San Juan Capistrano Presents: A Trip to the Past
Enjoy historic photos celebrating the rich history of visiting Mission San Juan Capistrano. The Mission is a historical treasure and we are proud to share its unique history with you. We look forward to seeing you return to the Mission and create your own history.
Preservation at Home – Digital Lecture by Scott Haskins
This video is a recorded version of a livestream event from Thursday, August 20, 2020. Scott Haskins, owner of Fine Art Conservation Laboratories in Santa Barbara, California has worked on many projects with the Mission over the years including the Station of the Cross XII painting. Scott speaks about how you can preserve and protect your precious objects. Watch this video to learn more about the craft of conservation and how you can be sure to pass down your treasures to the next generation.
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