This talk is part of the Fountain Fundamentals Conference held July 10-11, 2013, Kansas City, KS.
Fountain Conservation-California Style by Andrea Morse
This presentation will describe various types of fountains that Sculpture Conservation Studio (SCS) has dealt with throughout the years. Many fountains in California were made to represent a unique geographical location in the history of the State, some are purely state of the art architectural decoration in front of buildings, schools and gathering places, while others were functional architecture when they were constructed. Many historic fountains have decorative tiles in and around the basins, with Mexican Soltio tiles functioning as steps around the fountain. Others are pot metal, cast-iron and other metals or simply cast concrete or sandstone. Some were state of the art run by electricity, while others have water piped in with clay pipes from a river to use for washing. Some fountains are living landscapes, and others function just for drinking.
Decorative features always exist in California fountains, whether a statue/ sculpture on top of the fountain, statues holding up the basin, or sculpture forming the fountain spout. Some have elaborate tile decoration as the fountain, while others have metal elements creating the fountain or the entire fountain represented as an animal.
All fountains, whether indoors or outside, contain water features, although many were no longer functioning when SCS was asked to conserve/restore them. With water features usually follows calcium deposits, and with calcium deposits come problems.
This presentation will give the audience an insight to the decorative and functional history of California fountains. I will be discussing certain forms fountains take, materials that make up fountains, and basic water problems encountered with fountains.
An AIC Professional Associate since 1994, Ms. Morse has over 25 years of conservation experience with an emphasis on public art, historic preservation, and museum surveys. From 1975 to 1993, she was a member of the conservation staff at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Department of Objects Conservation.
In 1993, Ms. Morse opened a private conservation practice and joined Sculpture Conservation Studio as President and Principal Conservator in 1997. Since then, she has overseen the majority of the studio’s surveys and projects, specializing in the large-scale outdoor sculpture projects. While at SCS, the studio has been awarded over a dozen SOS! Grants to assess public art projects in California and Hawaii.
Since 1998, Ms. Morse helped initiate and continues to participate in the Public Art Committee Panel, a program between City of Los Angeles Department of Public Art, conservators, and the public. Ms. Morse has written and co-authored numerous conservation papers and regularly lectures on public art and conservation as a means of raising awareness of conservation issues in the public sector.