Grand Vision—The larger-than-life work of sculptor Ann Norton, displayed in a lush Florida garden, receives a careful restoration.
SavingPlaces.org, Summer, 2020
In 2015, the site brought in conservator Rosa Lowinger and her firm, RLA Conservation, to evaluate the condition of the nine major outdoor sculptures, which had withstood multiple hurricanes. Plant growth, moisture, and salt air had damaged some of the bricks, as well as the rebar that forms the armature of most of the works. “I love those sculptures, because I work with these materials all the time, but on buildings,” says Kelly Ciociola, a principal conservator at RLA. “It’s amazing what Ann Norton was able to do with an architectural material as sculpture.” Ciociola and skilled RLA technicians Humberto Del Rio, Junior Norelus, and Pablo Brouwer have conserved six of the garden sculptures since 2016, gently cleaning them and removing vegetation—including roots that had grown in tiny cracks, ultimately spreading out and causing more damage.