The Alamo Harvesting Pigment Samples From Church Walls For The First Time

November 12, 2020

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Contact: Kevin Femmel
Alamo Trust, Inc.
Office (210) 225-1391x3005
Mobile (210) 836-8616

Alamo Conservator Pam Rosser extracting pigment samples from the Church walls
The pigment extraction will require a electric scissor lift on the plaza-facing part of the Church.

Alamo Conservator Pamela Jary Rosser has begun collecting pigment samples from the iconic Alamo Church facade. But what does extracting pigment samples actually mean?

Rosser, who has performed conservation work on the historic Alamo Church and Long Barrack for the past 20 years, is undertaking this process in order to provide detailed insight into any decorative painting the Church might have received, as was common during the mission era and practiced at other missions in San Antonio.

Alamo Conservator on an electric scissor lift on the plaza-facing part of the Church
The pigment extraction will require a electric scissor lift on the plaza-facing part of the Church.

"The main facades of Mission Concepción and Mission San Jose were decoratively painted during the mission era, so it is possible that the Alamo Church facade was also decoratively painted," Alamo Conservator Pamela Jary Rosser said. "We have already discovered visible pigment fragments on the ornament stone as well as flat surfaces. Collecting these samples will help us get a better understanding of the various pigment layers on the west facade of the Church.”

The extraction process should take 4-6 weeks to complete. Each sample will then be examined scientifically to determine the paint chronology, revealing whether the pigment fragments present on the Church today were painted during the mission-era in the 1700s.

This process involves the use of an electric scissor lift on the west side of the Alamo Church, the side that directly faces Alamo Plaza. The work will be conducted during the day time, and it should not impact the visitor experience.
About Alamo Trust, Inc. | Located in the heart of San Antonio, the Alamo serves as a sacred memorial to all those who lived, fought and died there. Visitors pay homage to the heroes of the 1836 Battle of the Alamo, a defining moment in Texas History. Alamo Trust, Inc., or the Alamo, tells that story of Texas independence, as part of its 300-year history to over 1.6 million visitors every year. To visit the Alamo is to witness living history, experience authentic artifacts and admire an iconic landmark that shaped the country. Visit