Blanche E. Colman - Low Relief Ceiling Decoration, 1902

Blanche E. Colman (1874 - 1959, Westwood, Massachusetts)

Low Relief Ceiling Decoration, 1902

Haberstroh process using a semi-fibrous plastic material


This low relief design of ivy leaves on the ceiling of the Titian Room resembles plaster work but was probably made using the Haberstroh Process, a patented technique using a semi-fibrous plastic material.  Isabella Stewart Gardner meticulously oversaw every detail in her Museum and asked local interior design firm, L. Haberstoh & Son, to design a low relief element for the gallery’s ceiling to introduce a delicate play of light and shadow. Haberstroh turned to his talented young designer,  Blanche E. Colman, who was eager to tackle the challenge.  After two proposals, Isabella approved her design.