Pietro Tacca Fountain

Washington, DC

The Cosmos Club, incorporated in Washington, D.C. in 1878, is a private social club for women and men distinguished in science, literature, the arts, a learned profession or public service. The Club is noted for its camaraderie and atmosphere of warmth, dignity, and elegance.

The Cosmos Club houses a reproduction of a fountain by Italian Baroque sculptor Pietro Tacca installed in its gardens. It is a fantastic construction featuring strange bronzes of winged monkeys, whales and other sea creatures entwined around a marble post set within a marble pool. It was recreated from the Florentine original and installed at the beginning of the twentieth century when the Club’s home was a private residence.

EverGreene conservators and technicians cleaned and restored the fountain in 2021. One hundred and twenty years of exposure had left deep stains in the marble from the overhanging trees and corrosion of the bronze elements. Using a sequence of poultices and steam rinses, most of the stains were drawn out of the stone, returning the overall color of the marble to its natural white. The stoneworks was also re-pointed and small repairs were performed.