Zinc Sculpture in America, 1850-1950

by Carol A. Grissom

Hardback • 2009 • $137.00
ISBN: 978-1611490961

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Introduced in the United States as a new material for statuary in the mid-nineteenth century, zinc has properties that allowed replication at low cost. It was used to produce modestly priced serial sculpture displayed throughout the nation on fountains, public monuments, and war memorials. Imitative finishes created the illusion of more costly bronze, stone, or polychrome wood. This first comprehensive overview of American zinc sculpture is interdisciplinary, engaging aspects of art history, popular culture, local history, technology, and art conservation. Included is a generously illustrated catalogue presenting more than eight hundred statues organized by type: trade figures and Indians, gods and goddesses, fountain figures, animals, famous men, military figures, firemen, cemetery memorials, and religious subjects. The compilation of data on these statues will be valuable to scholars, filling the current void in research libraries. The author’s experience as a conservator will also make this an essential resource for historic preservationists seeking to repair statues now damaged by years of outdoor exposure.

About the Author
Carol Grissom is Senior Objects Conservator at the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute.