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Subject: Bloom on lead

Bloom on lead

From: Maria Saffiotti Dale <msaffiottidale<-a>
Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2005
I am seeking information on the recommended treatment, routine
maintenance, and optimal display of a lead sculpture (Raymond
Duchamp-Villon, "Le Cheval", 1914, cast 1950s; ex-Morton Neumann
Family collection) which regularly "blooms." We have been
maintaining it in-house by gently reducing the white oxide layer
with very fine #0000 synthetic pads followed by the application of a
coat of Renaissance wax.

Since the museum acquired the piece in 1999, it has had three such
treatments. Now, the white oxide layer seems to be more difficult to
reduce. The sculpture is displayed in a free-standing painted wood
case with fabric-covered deck and a plexi hood. Should we install a
silica gel system; should the plexi vitrine have holes to facilitate
air exchange; or should the case be made air tight?  Without
conservators on staff, I would like to ask the list for advice on
how to plan for the preservation and display of this object, so as
to keep the oxidation process in check and preserve the integrity of
the surface of this important piece of modern sculpture.

Maria F.P. Saffiotti Dale
Curator of Paintings, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts
Elvehjem Museum of Art
800 University Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin  53706
Fax: 608-263-8188

                  Conservation DistList Instance 18:39
                 Distributed: Friday, February 18, 2005
                       Message Id: cdl-18-39-039
Received on Tuesday, 25 January, 2005

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