Initial Assessment Procedures For Inspecting Outdoor Sculptures

Procedure code:
Outdoor Sculpture Manual - Center For Public Buildings
Ornamental Metal Castings
Last Modified:

Inspection of outdoor sculpture should be performed regularly to identify potential problems early and prevent the development of serious problems requiring major treatments. Inspections are of two types:

  1. Initial professional assessment; and
  2. Routine semi-annual inspection.

Planning Criteria:

The initial assessment of outdoor sculpture should be conducted by professionals. "Professionals" may include internal personnel or contractors, and may range from a problem specific analysis- to a full Historic Structure Report (HSR), but at a minimum it means the evaluation of the problem(s) by personnel with knowledge, training and experience in the identification and treatment of material deterioration and the ability to recommend appropriate action within the constraints of the American Institute of Conservation Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

This assessment establishes a baseline or benchmark against which future semi-annual inspections will compare the sculpture's condition. For guidance on planning semi-annual inspections of outdoor sculpture, see 05725-02-S.


An initial professional assessment shall be performed on each piece of outdoor sculpture to identify its component materials and their respective conditions.

Use of the inspection checklists (501001S, 501002S and 440001S) is encouraged. These lists are intended to aid in the evaluation by providing professionals specific details for each material.

Complete assessment report and file as the "base" file for each piece.

Note conditions of deterioration or structural failure which are beyond the scope of maintenance and report them to the appropriate Regional Historic Preservation Officer and Fine Arts Officer; schedule the preparation of an HSR by professionals. Include photographs, when possible, to document the condition.

Schedule follow-up inspections on a semi-annual basis.


Patrick Kipper, The Care of Bronze Sculpture, 2007.

Last Reviewed: 2017-08-13