“Diana” is getting the gold leaf touch.
The 13-foot sculpture of the Roman goddess was done by Augustus-Saint-Gaudens and currently sits in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Great Stair Hall. The museum’s Conservation Department and American Arts Department are using a grant from Bank of America for the four-month regilding process.
Before conservators can begin the process of laying 180 square feet of gold leaf, the corrosion will have to be removed. They’ll research the statue’s properties from its days atop Madison Square Garden in the 1890s, and assess Diana’s current condition.
“Saint -Gaudens’ celebrated sculpture of Diana is widely recognized as one of the great icons of our collection,” museum director and CEO Timothy Rub said. “But most people do not realize that the sculpture’s gray-green surfaces once gleamed in gold.”