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aPA Conserves Artworks Each May

Since 1982, the Association for Public Art’s conservation program has provided annual maintenance each spring for over 30 beloved public artworks throughout the city.

Throughout the month of May, be on the lookout for the Association for Public Art’s conservation team conducting annual maintenance on 31 Philadelphia public artworks. Our conservators perform condition inspections of the artworks, remove any surface grime and graffiti, wash the sculptures, and apply a special wax coating for those made of bronze. The artworks are cleaned, protected, and stabilized to protect them from further corrosion.

*For those interested in seeing the process up close, our conservation technician will be working on Thorfinn Karlsefni on Kelly Drive on Thursday, May 29 from 10-11am. For conservation updates and photos, follow the Association for Public Art on Instagram and Facebook.

Conservation in 2013 of Alexander Milne Calder's "Major General George Gordon Meade."
Conservation in 2013 of Alexander Milne Calder’s Major General George Gordon Meade. Photo Caitlin Martin for the Association for Public Art.

Other sculptures receiving treatment this year include Duck Girl and Lion Crushing a Serpent in Rittenhouse Square; the James A. Garfield Monument, works in the Ellen Phillips Samuel Memorial, Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant on Kelly Drive; the Shakespeare Memorial at Logan Square; Walt Whitman and The Labor Monument in South Philadelphia; Dickens and Little Nell in Clark Park; and Fingerspan along the Wissahickon.

Since 1982, the Association for Public Art’s conservation program has provided annual maintenance each spring for over 30 beloved public artworks throughout the city.

Learn more about how the Association for Public Art works to preserve public art in Philadelphia.

Related Artworks

Artwork

Major General George Gordon Meade

(1887)

by Alexander Milne Calder (1846 - 1923)

Lansdowne Drive north of Memorial Hall, West Fairmount Park

A memorial in Fairmount Park to General Meade, best known for defeating General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Artwork

Duck Girl

(1911)

by Paul Manship (1885 – 1966)

Rittenhouse Square, Children's Pool, Walnut Street between 18th and 19th Streets

Poised in a Greek dress, the figure draws on classical imagery – characteristic of Paul Manship’s earlier works.

Artwork

Lion Crushing a Serpent

(1832, cast 1891)

by Antoine-Louis Barye (1796 - 1875)

Rittenhouse Square, Walnut Street between 18th and 19th Streets

Barye’s bronze symbolizes the lion of monarchy crushing the evil serpent and is the first sculpture installed in Rittenhouse Square.

Artwork

James A. Garfield Monument

(1895)

by Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848 - 1907)

Kelly Drive, south of Girard Avenue Bridge; across from Ellen Phillips Samuel Memorial

Following the assassination of James A. Garfield, the 20th President of the United States, the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art) established a fund to create a fitting memorial.

Artwork

Abraham Lincoln

(1871)

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.

Artwork

General Ulysses S. Grant

(1897)

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.

Artwork

Shakespeare Memorial

(1926)

by Alexander Stirling Calder (1870 - 1945)

Logan Square, Benjamin Franklin Parkway between 19th and 20th Streets

Alexander Stirling Calder’s monument to William Shakespeare, which depicts two figures representing Comedy and Tragedy.

Artwork

Walt Whitman

(1939, cast 1957)

by Jo Davidson (1883 - 1952)

Broad Street and Packer Avenue

The bronze by artist Jo Davidson captures the spirit of the free-striding American bard. This is a second cast from a plaster original.

Artwork

Dickens and Little Nell

(1890)

by Frank Edwin Elwell (1858 - 1922)

Clark Park, 43rd Street and Chester Avenue

Originally commissioned by a Washington newspaper publisher, the sculpture pays tribute to the heroine of “The Old Curiosity Shop.”

Artwork

Fingerspan

(1987)

by Jody Pinto (1942 - )

Wissahickon Creek trail near Livezey Dam, Fairmount Park

Pinto wanted to link the human body with the natural environment in such a way that viewers themselves, passing through the work, would help to establish the connection.

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