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Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Conserving “The Vine”

by Conservation


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

Our objects conservator has been working on a conservation treatment plan for “The Vine,” a bronze sculpture by Harriet Whitney Frishmuth (1880-1980).  The 1923 sculpture is due to be installed in our Alice Bimel Courtyard  this summer.  After being displayed outdoors for many years, the sculpture has suffered some weathering, which has worn away its black surface, or “patina,” and caused green corrosion in some areas.  Last week our objects conservator conducted cleaning tests on the bronze to find the best solution to remove old wax and corrosion from the sculpture.  Everything from “jellied” solvents gels to mild soap and water were tested.  The next step will be to test different chemical patination agents to identify the best one to replace the black patina in areas where it has worn away. Once the sculpture is installed in the courtyard, the cleaning and “repatination” will take place in view of the public. Stay tuned this summer to watch the conservation of “The Vine“ take place in our beautiful Alice Bimel Courtyard!