The steel sculpture was covered with a failing coating. Tests conducted on the coating revealed the coating softened with heat, so hot water was used to remove the coating. This allowed us to remove the coating without using solvents. A collection system was set-up to capture the runoff and keep the remnants of the coating from entering the storm drains or sewer. A new coating was applied that will protect the sculpture and be easier for a conservator to remove in the future.
This piece was in need of a conservation treatment and the blue base was badly degraded. The bronze sculpture was treated and the base given a new coat of high quality Imron paint, which is expected to last 20 years before needing to be repainted.
An initial condition inspection revealed extensive fungal (commonly known as dry rot) and insect damage in the base of the sculpture’s wooden support. The damaged wood was removed, and a new stainless steel mounting system was engineered and mounted to the base of the sculpture. The sculpture was lifted into place and the new stainless steel supports were welded to the base supports attached to a concrete footing. After caring for the structural needs of the artwork, the entire sculpture was treated to preserve and protect the artwork. As seen in the before and after images, despite the extensive work to save the artwork, the typical viewer would never suspect anything has changed.
These are overall and detail images of Hermon Atkins MacNeil’s 1904 “Coming of the White Man” which depicts a chief of the Multnomah and a medicine man watching the explorers Lewis & Clark traveling down the Columbia. The bronze artwork had gone many years without being cared for. The treatment preserved the artwork and returned the viewable details in the figures.
This late 19th centry Chinese Ivory Scholar Figure was disfigured by delamination of a major section on the front of the figure. The missing section of the 30 inch tall artwork was repaired and losses were filled, returning the figure to a displayable condition.
his crystal goblet was broken at the stem. This goblet is part of a set considered a family heirloom. The owner wanted the goblet to be functional again. A conservation grade adhesive with a matching refractive index to the glass was needed. Since the goal was to return the goblet to a usable state, a permanent (100 year) resin needed to be used. After treatment the goblet was restored and fully functional condition.
Japanese vase, circa 1880-1912. The vase was damaged and no longer displayable. The losses were re-integrated and voids were filled and inpainted to remove the visual distraction of the losses. The treatment was completed using conservation grade materials and techniques.
Will Martin’s “Continuity of life forms” from 1959 greeted visitors to the Oregon Zoological Gardens until a remodel in the 1990s diverted visitors to a new entry. This important early work by Will Martin needed to be carefully removed and stored until a new home could be found at the Zoo. Each of the 20 concrete slabs which comprise the mosaic artwork were de-installed and placed on padded custom A frame pallets. Once they were safely resting on the pallets, they were cleaned to remove grime and biological growth. After being in storage for several years, a conservation plan was written that will guide the process of re-installing and preserving this important artwork.
HCG Object Conservation focuses on maintaining the integrity and authenticity of an object. We take a least possible intervention approach and use reversible techniques to support an object long-term conservation. Long-term preservation of important cultural objects is the goal of HTC conservators. Our approach may range from general observations to specific treatment applications and routine annual maintenance procedures.