Our studio’s work includes the restoration and conservation of bronze, copper, stone, plaster, wood, terracotta and resin sculpture and architectural elements. We have conserved antique sculpture and monuments including the sculptural elements of the Old State House in Boston, the antique plaster cast collection at Yale University, and the Sunken Garden Fountains at the Elms in Newport for which we were awarded the Society’s Laurel Award.
Some other projects we have completed can be seen at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Boston Public Library; the Slater Museum, Connecticut; as well as many National Park Service sites. Our conservation work is sometimes combined with making replications of missing fragments of sculpture or complete pieces. Sometimes it is also the intent of the institution or owner to conserve the original for indoor display and place a replica outdoors. At other times our expertise in modeling, moldmaking and casting is used to create replications. The scope of our work ranges from small objects owned by private clients to large institutional collections. Our studio’s extensive experience with traditional methods, as well as our utilization of newer materials, has enabled us to excel in the field of conservation.
Our process includes a report outlining the existing conditions of the object or sculpture. Both structural and surface conditions are noted in detail supplemented with photo references. We then draft a proposed treatment report which addresses critical details such as reversibility (more on this below), choice of materials and methods, options for treatment, the schedule, and costs. After acceptance of the proposed treatment, we proceed with the conservation and/or restoration work and document it as we progress. When our work is completed, a final treatment report is submitted. Other concerns we may address are future maintenance, mounting, and ongoing surveillance of fragile objects.
Regarding reversibility in restoration, we believe in most cases that as much of the original sculpture should be left intact. By maintaining the aesthetic condition and the object’s visual history, completed reversible treatments will potentially not change nor lessen the value of the piece. With this in mind, we may keep the antique patina of the sculpture or plaster cast intact, and if there are areas of damaged patina or areas where we have performed structural restorations that require repatination, we will repatinate those areas to match the original surrounding tones. At other times, the patinas on the sculptures or plaster casts may be severely damaged throughout the entire surface. In these cases, it is often necessary to completely strip the patina and then repatinate the entire piece in order to make it aesthetically acceptable. If this is the case, we try to reflect in the new finish what the original intent or appearance of the piece would have been. Ultimately, we think every object needs its own unique evaluation of proposed treatment.