Conservation and Relocation of Peter Reginato, Luncheon on the Grass

Peter Reginato (American, 1945)
Luncheon on the Grass, 1979
University of Houston

Luncheon on the Grass was removed from a previous site for a major construction project. When the Elgin Street Garage project came online in 2018, we saw this as a new home for the sculpture. The building was to have a large deck with seating and was ideally suited for a sculpture of this scale. Working with the architects, a pedestal was designed just for it. Our art conservator took it from storage to his studio and began the process of cleaning it and contacted the artist to discuss the intended look and finish of the surface. It was in great condition, just needed to be brought back to life. Previous coatings were removed, as well as heavy rust scale while leaving the light rust, as requested and approved by the artist. This was done using citric acid rinse. Then hot wax was applied. After installation, the sculpture had a cold paste wax applied. Additionally, three zinc plate pads as anodes were added under each foot of the sculpture to slow corrosion and three stainless threaded anchors and lock nuts to bolt and anchor it down into the concrete below the deck.

Images of Luncheon on the Grass before and during conservation