Susan Grant Raymond's Climb To Glory Sculpture

Fort Drum, NY

When sculptor Susan Grant Raymond was commissioned to create ‘Military Mountaineers,’ also known as ‘Climb to Glory,’ she was inspired by the accomplishments of the World War II-era 10th Mountain Division. Since its installation in 1991, the sculpture has become a focal point of activity and pride for Fort Drum, where the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) still operates. In 2014, the Mission & Installation Contracting Command recognized that the sculpture was due for some routine maintenance.

We were engaged by Fort Drum to treat the 18-foot tall bronze sculpture. Before beginning work, the conservator assessed the surface conditions of the bronze. Signs of wear and other deterioration of the wax coating were visible, along with pin-prick holes on the underside visible by small light green corrosion spots. Several gouges and abrasion scratches were likely caused by the toppling of the sculpture in a 2013 storm.

After the assessment, we cleaned the bronze with detergents, and corrosion products were removed with bronze brushes. The bronze surfaces were spot patinated where necessary. The entire figure received a hot wax treatment, where new wax was integrated with the existing wax to provide an even coating. Once this had cooled, a coating of cold microcrystalline wax was applied and buffed to a uniform, dull sheen. At the client’s request, we also developed treatment recommendations for bronze repairs and continuing maintenance.