Conservation of Joan Miró’s bronze sculptures at the Museum of Modern Art

Megan Randall, Lynda Zycherman, and Roger Griffith


The Museum of Modern Art owns three major bronzes by Joan Miró: Lunar Bird (1966), Solar Bird (1966), and Personage and Bird (1968). This article will examine the sculptures’ original casting and finishing processes, compare variations within their editions and metallurgical analyses, and review their condition and corresponding treatments. At the beginning of this project, both Solar Bird and Personage and Bird were deemed unexhibitable due to serious condition issues. Solar Bird was acquired in 2005 and came into the museum after decades of outdoor exposure without regular maintenance; as a result, its patina was significantly degraded. Treatment involved steam cleaning and applying tinted hot wax layers to revive saturation and appearance. Personage and Bird had a lifting surface that was consolidated and losses were toned.

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2016 | Montreal | Volume 23