top of page
eagle sculpture_after_4.jpg
meiji eagle sculpture_BT1
meiji eagle sculpture_BT2
meiji eagle sculpture_DT1
meiji eagle sculpture_DT2
meiji eagle sculpture DT3
meiji eagle sculpture_AT1
meiji eagle sculpture_AT2
meiji eagle sculpture_AT3

Conservation Treatment of the Boston College Meiji-Era Bronze Eagle

In 1954, Boston College received a significant donation: a monumental bronze eagle. The donor was a gardener who inherited the sculpture from Larz Anderson, an American diplomat who collected automobiles, art, and botanical specimens at his estate in Brookline, Massachusetts.  Initially embraced as the college's mascot, the dark bronze Japanese sculpture underwent gilding and was prominently displayed on campus as an American gilded sculpture. Decades later, it was re-identified as a Japanese Meiji era artwork and entrusted to us for conservation.


Upon thorough examination, including testing and metal analysis confirming its composition as the Japanese karakane alloy, we embarked on a meticulous conservation process. This involved delicately stripping away layers of gold and oil paint to reveal the original intricate casting and chasing techniques, as well as the distinctive shakudo method used for the eagle's eyes. The patina underwent careful repair using a cold, reversible hand-rubbed technique, followed by waxing and buffing to restore its luster.


After completing treatment, we located the eagle's original bronze base, which had been separated from the sculpture shortly after it was given to BC.  Following the same conservation protocol, we successfully reintegrated the base into the collection, ensuring its preservation for future generations.

View Other Projects

223.5˚ Arc x 15 by Bernar Venet

2022_ICA_El Anatsui_after install_1_edited.jpg

Area B by El Anatsui

Ellsworth Kelly, cleaning_ed.jpeg

The Courthouse Panels (1998) by Ellsworth Kelly

eagle sculpture_after_4.jpg

The Signing of the Compact (1921) by Cyrus Dallin

eagle sculpture_after_4.jpg

Boston College Meiji-Era Bronze Eagle

bottom of page