The outdoor sculpture, murals and public art team is the largest department at Preservation Arts because of the number of private and public collections it maintains. This type of work often requires large teams and big equipment, and so in addition to three sculpture conservators, the department has two technicians who are OSHA trained to drive booms and scissor-lifts, and sensitively operate equipment such as dry ice blasting machines and pressure washers that could be damaging on surfaces if used incorrectly.
In addition to important historical sculptures and monuments made of bronze and marble, the company works with several modern and contemporary focused collections with sculptures made of stainless steel, weathering steel, ceramics, painted fiberglass, patinated bronze, limestone, granite, marble, painted sculpture, polished bronze, neon, and LED light installations.
Select Portfolio of Outdoor Sculpture and Public Art Projects
We have treated outdoor sculptures by the following artists:
Willem de Kooning
Mark Di Suvero
Stephen de Staebler
Ursula von Rydingsvard
Rowan Geiger, Director & Principal Conservator
Rowan Geiger holds a Masters Degree in conservation from the Royal College of Art, London and has over 20 years of experience in the field. In addition to three years in studio training at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, she has held staff positions at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Stanford University Libraries, and was Chief Conservator at SFO Museum.
Rowan is a peer reviewed Professional Associate of the American Institute for the Conservation of Historical and Artistic Works. In addition to managing and overseeing all work at Preservation Arts, she has been an advisor on the Collections Committee for di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, and a member of the board for the Western Association for Art Conservation.
Rowan has extensive experience with assessment and treatment of objects and sculpture, and conservation management of museums and public art collections. She has worked with a wide range of cultural heritage from ancient to contemporary art, and regularly works with artists and artist studios to develop strategies for preserving their artworks. She is sought out for her expertise by collections, galleries and public art institutions nationally.
To read more about Rowan’s philosophy, see Our Story
Sarah Johnson, Project Manager for Public Art and Outdoor Sculpture
Sarah Johnson received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts. After relocating to the bay area Sarah began technical training in furniture restoration, including structural repair, carving and traditional finishing techniques. Her transition to sculpture and furniture conservation began as an intern at the Oakland Museum of California and conservation technician at the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco working on projects including the Salon Dore conservation treatment at the Legion of Honor. Sarah has been with Preservation Arts since 2014, applying her wide variety of training and skills to the conservation of sculpture and objects in a variety of media including bronze, wood, steel, stone and ceramic.
Maintenance of Public Art
“Volunteer Fireman Memorial Sculpture” 1932 by Haig Patigian in San Francisco
This patinated bronze with a travertine base is one example of public art monuments beloved to the communities in which they are located. It was conserved in 2018 by Preservation Arts with overwhelming support from the community of North Beach San Francisco. Treatment included corrosion reduction, removal of accretions and copper staining, and repairs to the mortar pointing. The bronze was hot waxed with high performance coatings.
Shortly after it was treated and to the dismay of all passersby, the freshly cleaned base was extensively vandalized with graffiti. Fortunately, the sacrificial coatings that we applied to the stone allowed us to remove the graffiti relatively easily. It typifies the ongoing maintenance and importance of community support required to maintain public art.