10 ft HIGH x 1.5 ft WIDE
(3.05 m HIGH x .46 m WIDE)
Gift of Dr. & Mrs. Alexander H. Ellenberg

TOM. Public Sculpture/Urban Environment. 1974.

NOTES: Handbook selection, 1984.

http://museumca.org/blog/start-here-m-gets-a-makeoverStart Here: "M" gets a makeoverposted by Claire F. Meyler, Capital Campaign Coordinator (02/25/2010) | 0 commentsFletcher Benton's metal sculpture, known affectionately as "the big M" has resided in the Oakland Museum of California gardens for decades. For most of that time, it has sported a dark blue coat. As a part of reopening conservation efforts, the sculpture has been restored to its original color-a brilliant orange. Chief Conservator John Burke shares the history of M.As the Museum prepares to open in May 2010, many of our garden sculptures are receiving treatment: repainting faded colors, deep cleaning, installing new labels, or moving to a new placement in the garden. While examining M for regular maintenance, the conservation team noticed that, in some places, an orange sheen showed through the blue paint. Burke explains, "The sculpture, once orange, was painted blue by an earlier preparator, with written permission from the artist." Rather than repair the blue paint, Burke checked with artist Fletcher Benton about restoring the artwork to orange. Benton was delighted by the proposition. According to Mr. Burke, the new hue is quite close to the original color. Burke notes, "Fletcher Benton didn't keep a record of the exact pigment mixture, so our conservation department created an approximate match, copying the original color underneath the blue." And, curiously enough, the sculpture's color is close to the signature orange of our new logo. Pretty neat, huh?Take a look when you come see the new OMCA in May!Fletcher Benton's sculpture, M, in blue. Photo: Rue Flaherty.

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