13 December 2007

Sherman's Molt

What's happened to the Augustus Saint-Gaudens statue of General Sherman in Manhattan's Grand Army Plaza? Just 17 years ago, back in 1990—the equestrian statue, which was dedicated in 1903 and was the sculptor's last major work—was given a fresh coat of gold.

Now, look at it. Is gilt supposed to erode this quickly. I remember sitting under the statue just a few years ago and basking in the still-brilliant gilding. Now it looks like it's moulting. Even from a distance, it frankly looks like crap. Whole chunks of gold have fallen off both the horse and the angel that leads Sherman. When the restoration was completed, a lot of people complained it was too brilliant and gaudy, that it was vulgar. But that look was far preferably to this.

The Parks Department website says that site was given an inspection in April and found to be "acceptable."


J$ said...

between the pigeon poop and the constant car exhaust, this has to be a tough spot for a statue.

Anonymous said...

Discarded battery goes into pigeon. Statue melting acid comes out the other end.