Minnesota State Capitol

Saint Paul, MN

The Quadriga atop the pediment of the Minnesota State Capitol is a work by Daniel Chester French, American sculptor of many renowned monuments including the Lincoln Memorial. It consists of an over-life sized group of four horses pulling a chariot and three figures; two women guiding the horses, and one man riding while holding aloft a staff that carries a plaque with “MINNESOTA” in raised letters. The work is fabricated of repousse copper sheets soldered over a stainless steel armature. The armature is a replacement of the original wrought iron that was installed during the 1990’s restoration during which the copper was repaired as well. All exterior surfaces were then coated with a primer and size and gilded with 23.75 K gold leaf by EverGreene. The group returned to the site and has remained a symbol of the state ever since.

In 1998, EverGreene performed the gilding of bronze sculptures in front of the Minnesota State Capitol. Gilders prepared the surface by stripping, acid washing and priming, and then sized and gilded the sculpture with double weight custom 23.75-karat gold leaf.

Then in 2012, EverGreene took on regilding the exterior dome of the Minnesota Capitol building, which included rigging, stripping, and surface preparation as part of a larger effort to restore the capitol to its 1905 appearance.

EverGreene was contracted by the State of Minnesota to complete a condition assessment of the Quadriga more than 20 years after we completed that work. The assessment was part of an annual maintenance plan to continue to preserve the work. On the whole, the sculpture remained in excellent condition and we observed and documented only minor conditions that required modest interventions.