Conservation Projects

A beloved Oberlin landmark and Oldenburg's first commissioned public sculpture, Giant Three-Way Plug (1970) was conserved with support from a National Endowment for the Arts grant. One of the most problematic condition concerns was crevice corrosion around the bronze prongs due to contact between the dissimilar metals (the bronze prongs and Cor-Ten steel body). The resulting corrosion put pressure on the bronze, causing it to bow inwards as much as half an inch. In addition to the sculpture's conservation, improved drainage at the site will ensure that the sculpture will be accessible for teaching and learning for futures generations of Oberlin students and the general public.

Click here for a link to flickr images, including photographs of preparatory drawings of the work by the artist; early photographs of Oldenberg with a model of the plug discussing its location with AMAM staff; the plug’s arrival and installation in late summer 1970; its 2008 excavation and removal for conservation; and its May 2009 re-installation.