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Conservators Here to Conserve Outdoor Sculpture

By Jessica Marten, Assistant Curator

Two conservators from the Williamstown Art Conservation Center in Williamstown, MA, are here this week to conserve our Tony Smith sculpture, Playground. You’ll find them by the front gate. Here’s some information for those interested:

Playground by American artist, Tony Smith, has been on view on the grounds of the Memorial Art Gallery since it was acquired in 1970. Exposure to the elements and the normal wear and tear expected for outdoor art has taken its toll on the surface of the sculpture. Scratches, rust, peeling, and fading have compromised its appearance and stability.

imageDetails of peeling and rust, summer 2008

In 2008, a Memorial Art Gallery donor offered to assist in funding the treatment of this sculpture. With this promise of assistance, the Memorial Art Gallery applied for and was awarded a Lower Hudson Conservation Grant to cover the rest of the cost.

This will consist of the following measures:

image1* Remove the loose paint and corrosion

* Treat corroded areas with rust converter

* Fill paint losses and sand flush with top paint layer

* Spot prime fills

* Sand overall

* Apply two coats of paint

Treatment is expected to take approximately 75 hours. This area is closed for the safety of our visitors.

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