Tuesday, May 4, 2010
The Temple of Love in the Huntington's Rose Garden. The central limestone sculpture is marred by pocked erosion.
This summer we will be partnering with conservation scientist Eric Doehne to conduct research into aspects of stone deterioration of the garden statuary at the Huntington Library. We will be looking at severe erosion and the effects of a misguided 1950s effort to consolidate 18th century Italian garden statuary using a slurry of concrete over degraded stone surfaces. This research has been requested by Catherine Hess, the Huntington's chief curator of European and British art, as a means of revamping the maintenance and conservation protocol for all the stone statuary, urns, tempiettos (or is it tempietti?) at the Huntington. The results of this study will dovetail with our investigative work at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami, FL
Sculpture of Neptune, exhibiting severe erosion, spalling, and cracking due to the application of a concrete slurry over the softer stone.
Neptune: detail of concrete slurry on foot.