Century-old artwork found hidden under paint and wallpaper at Hauberg Center

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- Hand-painted artwork was discovered hidden behind layers of paint and wallpaper at the Hauberg Center.

The historic discovery came from the Friends of Hauberg Civic Center Foundation's Executive Director, Deb Kuntzi. Kuntzi said the discovery started with some old blue prints that were uncovered last fall.  One part of the prints mentioned a design in the master bedroom.

"I thought "Okay, I'll go check it out," and I saw the red border and I thought, "Oh my. It's here!"" said Kuntzi.

The artwork was red tulips, which followed suit with the floral design throughout the entire home.

"When you first uncover one of those tulips it took my breath away," she said. "To think you're uncovering something from 108 years ago is a pretty neat find."

The design was underneath two layers of paint, glue and wallpaper.  She said their saving grace was the fact that latex paint was used, not oil.  Oil paint would have set the uncovering process back about $100,000.

To chip away at the exterior layers, all they needed was water, Downy and a spray bottle, said Kuntzi.

"No chemicals whatsoever," she said.


The Hauberg Center called upon art students from Augustana to help with the cleanup job.

One student, Taylor Hager, said the work was tough, but worth it.

"I was just so excited to say that I did this," she said. "It's just such a wonderful feeling to be able to uncover history and beauty at the same time."

The students, which are from a combination of two art classes, planned to return to help on Monday, March 19th and 26th.