Roy Leadbeater, Mannequins Treatment

Calgary, AB Canada

Roy Leadbeater’s Mannequins was commissioned by Cambridge Group, a Toronto Company, for Deerfoot Shopping Centre in Calgary in 1981. It was fabricated at Leadbeater’s Sculpcast Foundry in Edmonton, and installed in the mall in 1983. Due to recent renovations and restructuring of the mall, Mannequins was donated to the City of Calgary so it could be exhibited in a new home. Prior to being transferred to the City’s facility, we were hired to treat the sculpture to render it ready for display.

Mannequins is cast entirely of bronze, using a high-contrast combination of bright metal and textured surfaces. Portions of the sculpture’s patina had been lost over the years, polished surfaces were highly tarnished, and the central figure’s tie was broken and detached.

Our treatment objectives were to clean the sculpture overall, repair damaged components, and protect the metal from future degradation. The treatment involved mechanical, aqueous, and solvent cleaning to remove soiling, polishing residues, surface corrosion, as well as aged and failed surface coatings. The sculpture’s various patinas were assessed, evened, and renewed where necessary. Bright metal surfaces were polished to remove tarnish and surface scratching, and new protective coatings were applied to the sculpture overall to slow down future soiling, tarnish and corrosion.