The curators of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art have done an amazing job of involving the Kansas City community in maintaining this architectural and artistic treasure. Over the course of fifteen years, the museum has undergone restoration of various wings and sections of the building. In addition to working on interiors, mechanical, and masonry, this restoration also involved the bronze windows.
Re-View was brought in to develop a restoration plan for the existing bronze windows. The windows were originally made by the Browne Window Company and are what are referred to as butterfly casements where the sash hinge on the center of the window opening. Over the years, the windows had experienced haphazard repairs and additional glazing. Re-View’s plan was to bring the windows back to their original state.
The Re-View carpenters removed the window sash and frames from the building and installed temporary enclosures. In our window restoration plant, we disassembled the window and blasted every surface with a mild media to remove stains, finishes, and glazing compound. Repairs were then made to the bronze by filling holes and securing components. The resulting window was a bright bronze unit that looked like it was newly minted.
Since the museum desired to maintain the aged look of the windows, Re-View tested many methods of applying a patina to age the windows. Art conservators from the museum came to our plant to evaluate different tints of patina and arrive at the best look for the building. Re-View then developed a process where we could achieve a consistent patina on all windows and doors that we restored. The act of applying patina to bronze windows is both an art and a science.
After the windows were restored, we glazed them with laminated Low E glass to improve the solar heat gain through the system. We also repaired the hardware and added new weather stripping. The resulting work will provide the museum with restored windows that will perform for another several hundred years.
History of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri is recognized as a world-class facility based upon its extensive collection. Built in 1933, the museum was constructed on land donated by William Rockhill Nelson and funds donated by Mary McAfee Atkins. Since the collection of art was largely compiled during the depression, the museum benefited from the ability to acquire a great deal of art at depressed prices.