The mysterious lady draped in black located at “the split” in Sherborn is getting a beauty treatment.
The statue and surrounding monument are the centerpiece of the Sherborn Local Historic District and were given to the town in 1924 by a local son, William Bradford Homer Dowse. As with any aging lady, periodic conservation treatments are necessary. The Sherborn Historical Commission, with the help of the Advisory Committee, has been seeking funding for several years to be sure that the statue and monument is treated with the care and respect that Sherborn's most significant piece of public art deserves.
The Memory Statue and Monument, which is listed in the State Register of Historic Places, has received a matching grant from the Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund through the Massachusetts Historical Commission, Secretary of the Commonwealth, William Francis Galvin, Chairman.
The work, now in progress, consists of resetting the granite stones of the monument, followed by cleaning and repointing. During this current phase of the work, the statue remains draped in a black covering to prevent any damage to the bronze surface. Once the mason, Derek Nickerson of A-1 Masonry and Construction, completes his work, the drapery will be removed and conservation of the statue will begin. Rika McNally of Rika Smith McNally and Associates Sculpture Care will gently clean the bronze surface and treat it to resist as much as possible the damage that naturally occurs from its outdoor location. The damage comes from acid rain and from air pollution due to the many cars that pass every day through the intersection of the two major routes in the center of Sherborn.
The total conservation project is overseen by Building Conservation Associates, Inc. and will be completed by June 30.