May is Conservation Month!

>>UPDATE: conservation recap with photos (spring 2015)


Photo Caitlin Martin © 2014 for Association for Public Art
Photo Caitlin Martin © 2014 for Association for Public Art

Each spring, the Association for Public Art’s (aPA) Outdoor Sculpture Conservation Program provides annual maintenance for over 30 public artworks throughout Philadelphia. Our team inspects the artworks, removes any surface grime and graffiti, washes the sculptures, and applies a special wax coating for artworks made of bronze. The sculptures are cleaned, protected, and stabilized to protect them from further corrosion.

Some of the artworks receiving special repairs this month include:

  • General Ulysses S. Grant (1897) by Daniel Chester French & Edward C. Potter: Re-pointing masonry joints in the granite base and repairing lead seating material.
  • Abraham Lincoln (1871) by Randolph Rogers: Cleaning, polishing, and applying a protective coating to the inscribed plaques that are eroded and illegible.
  • Ellen Phillips Samuel Memorial (1933-61) limestone sculptures (The Ploughman, The Slave, The Miner, and The Immigrant): Cleaning and applying a protective surface coating — a natural stone treatment used on Alexander Stirling Calder’s Sundial in 2011.

*See it in action! Our conservation technician will be working on Abraham Lincoln (Kelly and Sedgely Drives) on Thursday, May 21st at 10:00am. For conservation updates and photos, follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

>> Learn more about how the aPA preserves public art in Philadelphia

Related Artworks


General Ulysses S. Grant


by Daniel Chester French (1850 - 1931), Edward C. Potter (1857 - 1923)

Kelly and Fountain Green Drives

Just four days after the death of General Grant in 1885, the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art) formed a committee to create a fund for erecting an appropriate memorial.


Abraham Lincoln


by Randolph Rogers (1825 - 1892)

Kelly and Sedgely Drives

Philadelphia was one of the first cities in the nation to erect a monument to Lincoln after he was assassinated.

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