Case Study: CSULB Outdoor Sculpture Collection

The Getty Conservation Institute is partnering with the University Art Museum at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the 1965 Long Beach Sculpture Symposium. The collaboration includes treatment of selected sculptures from the CSULB outdoor sculpture collection (tour the collection), as well as the organization of the conference: FAR-SITED: Creating and Conserving Art in Public Places.

Robert Murray's Duet
The sculpture selected for treatment exemplifies many of the conservation issues posed by outdoor sculpture, especially painted ones, and allow for application of the research developed at the GCI. Robert Murray's Duet (1965), for example, was repainted shortly after its initial fabrication and painting, with a markedly darker and warmer paint. It was subsequently repainted many times. Deciding upon a treatment course implies identifying the different paints applied and especially the original layer, deciding on the best way to retrieve and document the original color, and deciding on whether to revert to the original color or stick with the darker red.

FAR-SITED: Creating and Conserving Art in Public Places
The 1965 Long Beach Sculpture Symposium was a major milestone—the first international sculpture symposium to be held in the United States; the first to occur on a college campus; and the first to build partnerships with industry to create innovative sculptures using new industrial materials and new technologies. Internationally recognized artists worked with industrial partners, such as Bethlehem Steel, Fellows and Stewart Shipyard, and North American Aviation in the creation of these landmark works.

FAR-SITED: Creating and Conserving Art in Public Places will be held October 16-18, 2015 and will examine new trends in public art, the use of new materials and technology, and the role of conservation for art in the public realm. More information is available on the conference website.

Banner image: View of the South Fields, Storm King Art Center with works by Mark di Suvero: Pyramidion 1987/1998; Beethoven's Quartet, 2003, For Chris, 1991 lent by the artist and Spacetime C.C., New York. Mon Père, Mon Père, 1973-75; Mother Peace, 1969-1970; and; Jambalaya, 2002-2006, Gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation, Inc., collection of Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York. Art: © Mark di Suvero. Photo: Jerry L. Thompson, reproduced courtesy the artist and Storm King Art Center; © Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York.

Page updated: January 2015