CONSERVATION OF A MONUMENTAL OUTDOOR BRONZE SCULPTURE: THEODORE ROOSEVELT BY PAUL MANSHIP
Lynda A. Zycherman, & Nicolas F. Veloz
1. James M. Goode. The Outdoor Sculpture of Washington, D.C., A Comprehensive Historical Guide. (Washington, D.C., 1974), catalogue number E-6, pp. 187, 188, describes the monument and its history in detail.
2. On the sculpture's bronze base the foundry's name is abbreviated as Fond. Artis/Battaglia C./Milano, Italy.
3. From head to toe the statue is 17 feet high, but the upraised right arm and the 6-foot granite plinth make the actual height closer to 27 feet. The 30-foot granite shaft is a mere three feet behind the figure.
4. National Park Service Memorandum #D52-2618, February 7, 1967, from Supervisor of Contract Administration, Ralph R. Ross, to Superintendent of Prince William Forest Park and George Washington Memorial Parkway (unnamed), on the subject of the “Finish on Theodore Roosevelt Statue.”The first paragraph reads, “During May 1966, Mr. Bruno Bearzi, a resident of Italy selected by the sculptor and consultant architect(s), inspected and applied the present finish on the statue.” The memorandum continues with Bearzi's instructions for maintaining a satisfactory patina and finish. This paragraph is quoted in full in the text of this article.
5. The sculpture had arrived in the U.S. approximately one and a half years earlier and was set on site. As a protection against vandals, the statue was completely crated except for the upraised right hand. The Washington Post, October 28, 1967, A1 and B1.
6. See note 4.
7. Steven Tatti, Sculpture Conservator, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. helped to plan the treatment. Ms. Stephanie Faul and Mr. Victor Bernhard assisted in the work.
8. The operations were carried out from a locally rented JLG-27-foot manlift. The cage bumpers were padded with rags to protect the sculpture and the granite shaft from accidental scraping.Most of the chemicals and tools used can be obtained from a paint and hardware store. Igepal CO-630 (non-ionic wetting agent) and Aerosol OT (emulsifier) can be bought from TALAS, 140 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10011, U.S.A.Diaper rags were purchased from a diaper rental service.
9. Spic and Span; the label gives its composition as sodium sesquicarbonate, sodium tri-polyphosphate, tri-sodium phosphate, plus small quantities of other cleaning materials and an anionic surfactant.
10. Antique Black M24 Swab-on Finish is an instant-acting cold chemical swab-on or touch-up finish for use on brass, bronze copper and muntz metal. Used at room temperature it will produce colors from light brown to brown and to black. A product of Birchwood Casey Division, Fuller Laboratories, Inc., 7900 Fuller Road, Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55343, U.S.A.
11. Incralac, a solvent-type acrylic resin, (Acryloid-B-44, Rohm & Haas) plus benzotriazole, is available from Stan-Chem Inc., East Berlin, Connecticut 06023 U.S.A.
12. We used Cobratec 99, a commercial grade of benzotriazole, manufactured by Sherwin Williams Chemical Company, 1310 Expressway Drive So., Toledo, Ohio 43608, U.S.A. Product information and application suggestions can be found in Cobratec, Sherwin Williams Technical Bulletin #531. Benzotriazole, which is toxic if taken internally, may also be carcinogenic. Protective masks and gloves should be worn when applying BTA. See: W. A. Oddy. “Toxicity of Benzotriazole.” Studies in Conservation. XIX (1974): 188–189.
13. The wax paste was provided by Steven Tatti. The composition is:
dissolved in mineral spirits to a soft, creamy consistency. Bareco waxes are products of Bareco Division, Petrolite Corporation, 6910 East 14th St., P.O. Drawer K, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74115, U.S.A. Cosmolloid 80H is obtainable at TALAS.