Conservators are currently at work on Bela Pratt’s (1867-1917) stately Art and Science. The two figures – Art holding her brush and palette, Science clasping a globe – were installed in 1912, and have welcomed patrons through the library doors ever since. This restoration project will return the sculptures to their intended appearance.
The work will occur in phases over two weeks. First, the bronzes and stone bases will be cleaned with an environmentally-friendly soap, and any joints between the base and statue will be re-caulked as needed. Existing coatings of wax will be stripped from the bronze, allowing any areas of discoloration and patina loss to be touched up to match the existing tones. A new protective coating of incralac and wax will complete the restoration. Restoration work occurs periodically in order to preserve the beauty and integrity of these works. This important project is made possible by the Browne Fund. Restoration work on the Bacchante statue in the courtyard will begin later this month.