Color Fuses Mural Restored at Indy's Minton-Capehart Federal Building
For the first time since its installation in 1975, Milton Glaser's Color Fuses, a mural encircling the base of the Minton-Capehart Federal Building in Indianapolis, Ind., has been completely restored under the guidance of GSA’s Fine Arts Program with funding from the Recovery Act.
Completing the two-month project in July 2012, professional conservators working with the world-renowned artist and GSA conducted a detailed analysis of the weathered paint and surfaces to provide restored color and lighting recommendations meeting the artist's approval.
Highly skilled painters then cleaned, primed, and repainted the mural wall while technicians replaced the work's incandescent lamps and lighting controls with an energy efficient LED system, providing more uniform illumination across the surface of the mural.
Programmed Light Illumination
Color Fuses celebrates the interplay of color and light. To further this effect at night, Glaser programmed the exterior perimeter lighting to illuminate his mural with a slow rise and fall sequence. This rhythm alludes to the gradual rising and setting of the sun and the timeless wonder associated with the qualities of light as it shifts and reveals itself on the horizon. Lighting operates in the early evening hours for nighttime display.
Description of the Work
Color Fuses consists of 35 bands of color and corresponding illumination wrapping the base of the Minton-Capehart building. Commissioned by GSA's Art in Architecture program in 1974, the piece emerged from collaboration between Glaser and architect Evans Woolen, who shared the goal of making the austere building more appealing to the general public.
At the time of its installation, Color Fuses was one of the world’s largest contiguous murals, measuring 672 feet in length. Today it continues to enhance and enliven the pedestrian experience through an energizing interaction of color and light.
Milton Glaser has had a major impact on contemporary illustration and design for more than 50 years. He is known for iconic images such as the “I [heart] NY” logo and the international AIDS symbol. His portfolio is diverse and prolific, including book jackets, album covers, print advertisements, corporate brands, illustrations, posters, environmental and interior design projects, and architecture. In 2009 Milton Glaser received the National Medal of the Arts from President Barack Obama, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence.