Ringling Museum of Art Historic Lanterns Treatment

The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL

At the request of The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 46 wrought iron lanterns and one gilt bronze lantern underwent conservation by EverGreene Architectural Arts. The historic lanterns have embellished and illuminated the courtyard loggia and façade of the Museum of Art since the building was constructed. The primary aim of the project was to stabilize and protect the lanterns so that they could remain in their original locations. Work occurred in two separate phases. The lanterns that posed the largest life safety hazards were treated in 2017 and the remaining lanterns were treated in 2018.

Many of the painted wrought iron lanterns were severely corroded due to the harsh marine climate. Rust-jacking contributed to the loss of many decorative and structural elements. General corrosion and incompatible replacement parts deformed other portions of the lanterns.

All lanterns were documented prior to commencement of work and during the treatment process. Where possible, the original elements were retained. Replacement parts were sourced directly from known manufacturers or were documented and designed to match the existing pieces. The gilt bronze lantern retained its original gilded surface and was cleaned using laser technology to protect the historic finish. The original wiring and broken fixtures were replaced with in-kind replicas. Lastly, the lanterns were coated with several protective finishes and a durable marine grade paint before being reinstalled at the museum.