The Virginia Memorial is receiving a protective coat of patina. A small area is heated, the sulphurated potash patina is sprayed on, then more heat. A few sprays are needed to provide the necessary protection. A clear wax will then be applied to seal the bronze. #preservation pic.twitter.com/yCobaT7YpI— Gettysburg NMP (@GettysburgNMP) October 1, 2022
Preservation work on the Virginia Memorial at Gettysburg National Military Park is expected to finish soon. The current ferric patination, applied in the early 1980’s, has failed in many areas and has left the bronze with a very flat, dull finish that provides little to no depth when viewed. National Park Service preservation professionals from the Historic Preservation Training Center (HPTC) in Frederick, Maryland are conducting this vital preservation work. This project will ensure a lasting professional patination closely approximating the original patination, in recipe, color, depth, and longevity.
The existing brown patina is not original to the work. The current patina also shows areas of wear from decades of exposure to the elements. Preservation professionals from HPTC will correct these issues by removing the current sealer, patina, and corrosion. When reduced to a bare metal surface, a patina of sulphurated potash will be applied, and this surface will be sealed with clear microcrystalline paste wax. The use of a sulphurated potash patina has been historically documented on work at Gettysburg NMP and is very stable for outdoor exposure. The new patina will result in a darker finish that is historically correct and is the primary sealer in use for bronze elements throughout the park’s monument collection.
The immediate grass circle around the memorial will be closed during this project. West Confederate Avenue will remain open at all times. The Virginia Memorial was dedicated in 1917.