In the last few days, we have been working on an outdoor sculpture conservation project. We have been lucky with the weather, no storms or rainy days, simply sunny weather, which is not the regular thing for summertime in Florida.
The piece in question, from a private collector, is "Trial Scene from the Law of Nature"(1997) by Tom Otterness. It’s one of 25 examples of the sculptor’s work.
The sculpture, inspired by the O.J. Simpson trial, represents the jury trial in progress for the cat that swallowed the canary, with the feathers still sticking out of its mouth. It consists of a rectangular pedestal on which sit a mouse, two dogs, and a bird; and another pedestal, perpendicular to the first, supporting an owl on a perch, a cat sitting on its haunches and a hound standing on its legs, facing the cat. Dressed in a business suit, the hound holds a stack of papers in his paw.
As we have already mentioned in previous posts, in Florida it is important to conduct frequent examinations of outdoors sculptures, identify initial stages of corrosion and carry out the necessary maintenance procedures, like the renewal of waxes or protective coatings of lacquer, more regularly than in other climatic zones. Maintenance is a very cost effective action if compared with a whole conservation-restoration treatment. Furthermore, if performed regularly, yearly or twice-yearly, it will protect the aesthetic appearance of the sculpture in addition to its financial value.