Bronze Monument Conservation—Minnesota Monument, St. Louis, MO—Private

National Cemeteries, Nationwide

The Minnesota Monument is one of seven monuments in National Cemeteries throughout the country that were commissioned by the State of Minnesota to honor officers and soldiers from the state that died during the Civil War. The monument, erected in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in 1922, depicts a female figure in bronze, holding a wreath below her waist and standing atop a granite plinth. It was designed by John K. Daniels, a noted sculptor from St. Paul. Failure of the wax coating on the bronze had lead to green corrosion, particularly on skyward-facing surfaces.

We treated the Minnesota Monument as part of a large, multi-site contract with the National Cemetery Administration. The bronze was gently cleaned to remove surface soiling and loose corrosion. Then the surfaced was spot-patinated to even out the coloration and return the sculpture to a statuary bronze color that was most likely the original finish. The sculpture was then coated with hot applied conservation wax to protect the bronze surfaces.

Treatment of the granite plinth included cleaning, repointing, and injecting cracks with grout.