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Art Metal Conservation, Maintenance, and Restoration


Patrick has over 40 years experience in the art of bronze patination and science of art conservation.

Patrick is a Professional Associate of:
The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC)
The Western Association for Art Conservation (WAAC)
The National Sculpture Society (NSS).

Art Metal Conservation and Restoration Services

- Art Collection Examination and documentation (both municipal and private)
- Condition reports issued
- Complete maintenance programs designed for small as well as large art collections
- Art Surface cleaning and protective maintenance (both annually as well as bi annually)
- Complete art surface restoration, including patina application
- Collection surveys
- Placement consultation
- Arrangement of shipments
- Individual one on one and group patina workshops available upon request
(Patrick no longer offers group workshops in his private studio but travels for such)

If you would like to contact Patrick Kipper for your conservation and /or maintenance needs, please feel free to contact him.

Art Metal Conservation

Outdoor Sculpture Conservation

APAL Conservation project for N. Veloz of Henry W. Grady monument by Alexander Doyle, Atlanta, GA before and after

Most people see older bronzes in parks, public plazas, cemeteries, etc., and think that they will last forever because, after all, they are made of bronze!

This is an unfortunate misconception regarding what is, in fact, a delicate metal alloy, composed primarily of the soft metal, copper.

Detail of the Grady monument before and after conservation treatmentThe survival of bronze sculpture placed outdoors, new or old, depends on many factors: basic quality of construction, exposure and reaction to its environment, and any maintenance that its surface obtains.

Another factor that can affect the longevity of bronze is human contact, which can be much more devastating and damaging than the three previously mentioned components, especially if left unattended.

Indoor Sculpture Conservation

Bronze sculpture placed in an indoor setting is usually far less apt to acquire as severe of damage as those placed outdoors. In many cases, the steps required in protecting and preserving indoor art works are no more than adhering to a basic maintenance program of simple surface cleaning and light waxing.

Art Metal Maintenance

One of the best ways to protect and preserve your fine art cast and/or fabricated in bronze is by means of continuous and ongoing surface maintenance.

The reasons for taking this path of action are discussed in Conservation of Outdoor and Indoor Sculpture listed above, which, if followed, allows for lasting beauty and therefore appreciation of these fine art pieces for years to come.

Recommended maintenance procedures are usually carried out on a yearly basis. If budget allows, the ideal program would be twice a year in early spring and again during the autumn months prior to deep freezing.  However, performing maintenance programs once a year suffices in most cases.

Please feel free to contact Patrick for all of your conservation and maintenance needs.

Fine Arts Conservators

When foreign coloration appears on bronze sculpture, say in the form of blue green streaking (channeling) and/or patches or whitish green speckles, these are signs of reactions to chemical and/or elemental contamination. If left unattended, this damage can cause instability, irreplaceable loss, and potentially devalue these expensive art forms.

Detail, conservation project of Thomas Talbot Memorial by George Bridges, Atlanta, GA before and after

In order to prolong the stability and beauty of these artistic metal objects, it is best to protect and thus preserve them using basic conservation techniques.

The first step to protect and preserve bronze sculpture outdoors as well as indoors is to contact a fine arts objects conservator, especially one that specializes in bronze statuary.

Conservation project of Goslar Warrior monument by Henry Moore, Private collection

Conservators are trained professionals who specialize in the technical preservation of outdoor bronze sculpture by means of inspection, analysis, and maintenance procedures based on schools in chemistry, such as environmental sciences, metallurgy, etc…

One of the easiest and best ways to find a conservator of such art work in your area is to contact the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) at (202)-452-9545, www.aic-faic.org,or email them at info@aic-faic.org.

Restoration project of Large Spindle Piece monument by Henry Moore, Private collectionThis great referral organization of professionalsis expert in their various scientific fields, thus you can relax knowing that your bronze statuary will be given the best care possible.

All members of this organization must adhere to the Code of Ethics and Guidelines for practice as set forth by the AIC. All that is usually necessary when contacting the AIC is to give such information as to geographic location of the statuary, and the proposed project (cleaning and/or repairing bronzed sculpture, etc.) and they can either fax, email, or mail you a list of conservators in your area that are most suited to your proposed project. Then it is up to you to contact these individuals and go from there. Taking this first step in conserving your art work is the best way to insure quality craftsmanship which, in turn, will give the best results in preserving and protecting the piecefor generations.

If you would like more information on the science of fine arts conservation on outdoor as well as indoor bronze sculpture or for your conservation and /or maintenance needs, please feel free to contact Patrick Kipper.

Art Metal Restoration

Unlike conservation, which deals with protecting and preserving fine art metal surfaces from the effects of environmental aging,restoration deals with restoring a piece to the original state of the artist's intent.

Restoration project of Le Cheval monument by Fernando Botero.This is an avenue far less traveled by many collectors, both public and private, and is not usually recommended unless there is sush dramatic damage to the surface as to require this extreme measure.

Uneducated conservators and/or maintenance personnel, fire, or other unfortunate circumstances can damage a bronze surface to such a degree that this radical approach of restoration becomes necessary.

Restoration, especially in the case of older art work, can be devastating itself, in that it has the ability to destroy any value incurred during the long, slow aging and mellowing process inherent in bronze sculpture. As such, restoration should only be a last resort in the re-beautification of such artwork.

The Visual Artist’s Rights Act of 1990, or VARA, is a federal law that was enacted to protect the sculptor’s rights and/or original intentions. This law gives the artist some power to protect his or her work from mutilation, misattribution, or destruction. Many art foundries, unaware of the VARA law and/or what it represents, will repair and/or restore older and newer bronzes without regard to the original intent, thus devaluing the piece they intended to re-beautify!

All conservators of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) are familiar with this law, which basically means that if and when a bronze sculpture is to be restored or re-patinaed, the artist must be contacted first and give permission to do so. This is of particular importance if the original patina is unknown and/or the collector is wanting a different patina or finish than what was originally applied.

Restoration project of Shelter Cove by Mary Regat, Benson Park, Loveland, CO before and after

If the artist is deceased, then the conservator must follow up as much as possible in order to ascertain if there is a trust, museum, or other source from which to receive permission to alter and/or information regarding the original intention of the artist.

Exhausting these avenues, the conservator will then research the available archives to see what information he or she can glean as to the original coloration and surface treatment(s) of a particular bronze sculpture.

When contemplating resoration, it is always best to contact a “fine arts objects conservator”, especially one that specializes in bronze sculpture, so that all aspects of said restoration can be approached safely and properly, thus allowing retention of the monetary as well as the historical value of a bronze sculpture for the collector.

If you have questions or issues about a restoration project, please feel free to contact Patrick Kipper

The Care of Bronze Sculpture by Patrick V. KipperFor more information on the conservation of, and basic maintenance programs for fine art Sculpture cast and/or fabricated in bronze, please read “The Care of Bronze Sculpture” by Patrick Kipper, as detailed on this site.

This book gives the private collector the tools and knowledge necessary to preserve and protect these valuable artistic treasures, detailing the main differences between maintaining and preserving bronze sculpture in both the indoor and outdoor as well as the private and public setting.


Be sure to visit the Conservation/Restoration Gallery for a small sampling of some of the projects Patrick has undertaken over the years.