Inside Out – The Inside Scoop on Your Outdoor Sculpture

Are you responsible for carrying out the preservation of outdoor sculpture at your institution or business? Or, have you been charged with hiring contractors to maintain outdoor monuments and are unsure of which questions to ask, or how to evaluate whether a proposed treatment is appropriate?

For those of you wanting to become more familiar with monuments conservation, this webinar is intended to teach you:

  • to identify some of the materials commonly used in outdoor sculpture
  • the deterioration mechanisms of those materials
  • how to recognize when intervention is necessary
  • different treatment options

We will discuss why and when outdoor sculpture requires maintenance and what to consider when evaluating types and levels of intervention. Finally, we will provide examples from our own work of different processes we have used to treat outdoor bronze and stone sculptures.

This webinar is intended to give you a better understanding of motivations for and approaches to monument care and to provide you with a level of confidence and knowledge when discussing monument maintenance.


Joannie Bottkol, is an objects conservator for the National Park Service’s Northeast Region, which consists of over 80 National Sites and Parks spanning from Maine to Virginia. The collections include decorative and fine art, outdoor monuments, historic house interiors and furnishings, and archaeological objects.

Prior to joining the NPS, Joannie was the Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Objects Conservation at the Brooklyn Museum. She received her Master’s Degree in Art History and Conservation from the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. She has held internships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art in New York City and worked on contracts for the Guggenheim New York as well as for a number of private conservation studios. She has participated in conservation projects at NYU’s Villa La Pietra in Florence, Italy and on excavations at the Sanctuary of the Great Gods in Samothrace, Greece and at the site of ancient Selinunte in Sicily. Joannie holds an undergraduate degree in Art History from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and worked in finance in New York City for ten years before returning to school in pursuit of a career in conservation.

Karen Fix, joined the National Park Service as a conservator 2-1/2 years ago after having worked three years at an architectural preservation firm in California providing advice and oversight to architects and building contractors. Prior to that, she was a sculpture conservator in private practice for nine years in NYC under the name Conservation Artisans, and spent three years with a sculpture conservation studio in the Boston area.

Karen received her graduate degree in Historic Preservation, with an emphasis on Materials Conservation, from the University of Pennsylvania. She also completed a one year post-graduate internship in the Science Department of the Getty Conservation Institute and spent a year with the NYC Monuments Program. Her primary career focus has always been in the hands-on conservation of outdoor sculpture and architecture and today she is branching out to treat metal objects and archaeological artifacts.

Margaret Breuker is the Senior Conservator with the Historic Architecture, Conservation and Engineering Center for the Northeast Region of the National Park Service in the Department of the Interior. Margaret has over 16 years of experience working on decorative, archaeological, and utilitarian objects, historic house interiors, and monuments within the National Park Service’s collection from Maine to Virginia. In addition, Margaret has also focused on issues relating to collections management and environmental/climate control.

Margaret graduated with a degree in Art history from the University of Pittsburgh with a minor in German. She was in graduate school for Classical Archaeology when she met a conservator who introduced her to her “true calling”: preservation. She graduated from Columbia University with a MSc. in Historic Preservation in 1999, with an emphasis on monument and archaeological site preservation. She then was a Samuel H. Kress Fellow at the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, where she studied the biodeterioration of cultural materials and worked on multiple research projects, such as the study of biodegradation of Mayan ruins, and fungal degradation of limestone tombs.

Recorded: Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Duration: 1 Hour 22 minutes


Outdoor Sculpture PowerPoint Slides


Outdoor Sculpture Handout