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Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Conserving the Vine in the Bimel Courtyard

by Conservation


conservation , American Painting & Sculpture , behind the scenes , Alice Bimel Courtyard , Harriet Frishmuth , sculpture , outdoor sculpture , objects conservation

The objects conservator has been working outside in the Alice Bimel Courtyard on the recently installed bronze sculpture, “The Vine,” by Harriet Frishmuth (1880-1980). She’s finished removing loose corrosion products from the surface using a power washer, and during the next few weeks she’ll be removing the old wax coatings from the sculpture. The coatings were applied to protect the sculpture from the elements, but over time wax becomes less effective, and a buildup of old wax can obscure many details. The aged waxes will be taken off by applying a customized solution of mineral spirits to the surface and then wiping it off with cotton cloths; this will expose the unaltered bronze surface. You can catch the conservation in action in the courtyard from Tuesday-Thursday 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm, weather permitting.