Gen. McClellan Statue Looking Good


I reader emailed me about this statue getting a touch up months ago. I totally forgot about it until I walked by last weekend. The green is striking. I think it came out great. It’s across from the Hinkley Hilton on Connecticut Ave.



8 Comment

  • hinckley is how it’s spelled.

  • I was surprised to see this – I assumed it was originally bronze-colored, and would be again once it was cleaned (ala the Q St. Bridge buffaloes). I’m wondering whether this was done to make the color consistent w/out having to clean it again in the near future.

  • Looking good if you like the finish of a cheap plastic toy.

  • I kind of think it looks more like green paint than some sort of natural patina. Any sort of metal that has turned green naturally is going to have a lot of inconsistencies in the surface color. This treatment, whatever it is, makes it look fake.

  • Looks terribly unnatural to me. Not a fan.

  • This statue looks absolutely terrible now. It looks radioactive in a cartoony way.

  • It freaked me out the first time I saw it.

  • You may not like the restored finish to the McClellan “Little Mac” statue, but the green patina is believed to be representative of the original patina applied by Frederick MacMonnies back in 1907 – once the sculpture was washed, cleaned and patched up, the conservators tried to restore the patina back to the original. Patinas can be “naturally” occurring by just placing the piece out to weather on it’s own, but often artist apply patinas (to simulate age, to add color, etc.) as a part of the original design – as MacMonnies seems to have done back in 1907. Applied patinas are fairly common – Auguste Rodin encouraged his workers and assistants to urinate on his finished pieces, therefore speeding up the patina process. We often think of the “old” days, 1907, as being rather austere but here is a case where they may have been hoping to enliven “Little Macs” reputation (which was slipping greatly) with a simulation of antiquity. Lesson: be careful restoring things to how the originally were, you might get more than you bargained for.

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