The Orange Show

Houston, TX

At the request of SWCA Environmental Consultants, we performed an on-site condition assessment of “The Orange Show” in Houston, Texas. “The Orange Show” was created by Houston mail carrier, Jeff McKissack, who transformed a small suburban lot near his wood framed home in honor of his favorite fruit. Between 1956 and 1980, McKissack used common building materials and recycled materials such as bricks, tiles, fencing, and farm implements to transform his home into an architectural maze of walkways, balconies, arenas, and exhibitions decorated with mosaics and brightly painted iron figures.

The goal of the assessment was to examine, document, make general treatment recommendations, and provide budgetary cost estimates for a variety of artifacts and materials located on the site. Materials ranged from cement-based materials for the construction of the structures, ferrous metals (steel and cast iron), wood, plastic, rubber, ceramic tile, paint, natural stone, textiles, brick, glass, and other nonferrous metals were observed. Our conservators created a rating system based on the overall assessment of the collection as a whole and by weighing factors such as the artifact or structure’s age, usage, maintenance history and its physical state observed during the assessment. The rating was designed to act as a guide and assist the client in determining the artifacts/structures that were in the greatest need of stabilization and/or treatment.