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THE OHIO ART CONSERVATION CENTER: James Gwinner, one of our sculpture conservators, attended the Outdoor Metallic sculpture conference (Métal À Ciel Ouvert) in Paris, France. The outdoor sculpture conference was hosted by the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). Meetings and conferences like these are very important platforms to meet other conservators, share findings and learn of any innovative techniques.

All conservators of McKay Lodge Conservation Laboratory attend pertinent conferences to keep apprised on technologies and are often engaged as speakers at many events.

The international sculpture conference was held in Paris Thursday, 4 December, 2014 to Saturday, 6 December, 2014

Outdoor Metallic Sculpture from the XIXth to the Beginning of the XXth Century:

Identification, Conservation, Restoration

Auditorium of l’INHA, Galerie Vivienne
6, rue Vivienne – 75002 – Paris


Metallic statuary and decorations have boomed, particularly between 1800 and 1945. When the upper middle class came to power, towns were reorganized and public spaces were introduced. The renewed urban landscape now contained open spaces, fountains, sculptures and gardens. The sculptures often depicted allegories and symbols: great men, animals, war memorials, urban and architectural ornaments.

After England, several countries such as France and Germany opted for cast iron, zinc and embossed copper, which represented modernity, even if bronze remained a reference. At that time, foundries and iron workers enriched their catalogs, and thanks to world fairs exported their work towards Europe but also South America or India. Those sculptures, often unrecognized, were subjected to weathering and to the vicissitudes of history. Today, after one or two centuries of life, they require attention and care.

The main objective of this international conference is to review the present state of knowledge on conservation/restoration of those metallic ornaments. Additional objectives are to confront views, approaches, methodologies, solutions, and results.

Main Topics:

  • Conservation and restoration
  • Preventive conservation
  • Materials : composition, decays, industrial evolution impact
  • Artists, founders, techniques
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