Preserving the Howard Pyramid Angel

Thanks to your generosity, Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation is preserving the marble angel on the Howard Pyramid, one of the cemetery’s most photographed monuments.

With funding from the William & Alice Mortensen Foundation and Monument Fund donors, we are able to address both cosmetic and preservation concerns. Last year, Conserve Art LLC cleaned, removed deposits, and consolidated stone on the fragile statue.

Conservators cleaned the angel in a series of stages, beginning with the mildest solutions and utilizing more aggressive formulas as needed. Cleaning improved the surface appearance of the angel by removing dirt and debris. It also dislodged organic growth within the marble.

Stone consolidation was achieved by applying a liquid solution that penetrated the marble to form chemical and physical bonds designed to strengthen the stone while still allowing it to “breathe.”

With the recent warm weather, conservators began the second phase of the project. They cleaned cracks with compressed air and pressurized water. The cracks were injected with grout blended with marble dust. The fill was then tooled flush to match adjoining contours and textures.

The conservators are now repairing small areas of losses, most noticeably to the nose. Missing details are being replaced with a composite material specifically designed for patching marble. After creating a model of the angel’s face, the conservators designed a “new” nose based on remaining evidence and comparisons to other female statues at Cedar Hill.

We look forward to completing the repairs this summer. Thank you again for your generous support of this important preservation project. Please stop by the angel to check out her newly conserved appearance.

Conservator Francis Miller holds a model of the angel’s face which will be used as a guide for the restoration of the damaged nose.