Two years after portraits of prominent Mainers were discovered badly damaged in the attic of Portland City Hall, an art restoration group is still trying to raise money to repair them.

Bonnie Mattozzi, director of the Maine Project for Fine Art Conservation, said it has proved difficult to land grants to help pay for the restoration of the two most badly damaged portraits – of William Pitt Fessenden, who was a member of President Abraham Lincoln’s Cabinet, and Percival Baxter, the former Maine governor whose land gifts to the state eventually became Baxter State Park.

Repairing the Baxter portrait, painted by Joseph Kahill, will cost about $8,500, Mattozzi said, while fixing up Fessenden’s portrait – the artist is unknown – will cost about $6,500.

When the paintings, along with portraits of other prominent Portland politicians and city officials, were found in 2013, Mattozzi said the group hoped also to repair the frames, but because raising money for restoring the paintings has been so hard, that part of the project will be put off. Fixing the frames of the Fessenden and Baxter portraits alone would run more than $16,000.

Mattozzi said the difficulty in raising money to restore the portraits is an example of the fading popularity of civic art.

“It’s really fallen out of favor,” she said.

That’s a shame, she added, because not only are the paintings fine examples of art; they also represent a concrete link to the past.

“Call me old-school, but it’s a reflection of the times and also history,” she said.

No one is sure how the portraits ended up in the attic. Other portraits found there include Cyrus H.K. Curtis, a publisher who donated the Kotzschmar pipe organ that’s in City Hall’s auditorium; Barnett I. Shur, one of the founders of the Bernstein, Shur law firm and the city’s lawyer for a quarter-century; and Howard Reiche, who was principal of Portland High School for 25 years. There are also other paintings, including a seascape by Portland architect John Calvin Stevens.

Fessenden was an ardent abolitionist who served as Lincoln’s treasury secretary in 1864 and 1865 and one of seven Republican senators who cast critical votes against impeaching Lincoln’s successor, Andrew Johnson, in 1869. Fessenden died later that year.

Baxter is best known for buying up and then donating large tracts of land in Maine that become the state park that bears his name. The act was critical to preserving Mount Katahdin for public use. Baxter, a Portland native who served as governor of Maine from 1921 to 1925, also donated Mackworth Island to the state.

Mattozzi said all the people whose portraits were relegated to the attic need to be remembered, particularly Baxter and Fessenden, whose portraits were found in the worst condition. Both paintings have tears and are covered in dirt and grime. Baxter’s looks as if it had been crumpled.

The Maine Project for Fine Art Conservation has taken some steps to preserve the paintings, Mattozzi said, while funds are sought for the full restorations.

She said the Fessenden portrait will be displayed on Oct. 3, when the project will hold an antique appraisal day at the University of New England’s gallery at 716 Stevens Ave. Paintings, jewelry, books, documents and manuscripts will be appraised – fees are $10 for one item, $18 for two and $25 for three, with proceeds going to the Maine Project for Fine Art Conservation.

Mattozzi said she hopes the fees and donations will help jump-start the restoration of the Fessenden and Baxter portraits.