Sculpture Cleaning & Maintenance Demonstration

We had an incredible turnout for our sculpture cleaning event this past Saturday! Volunteers and local residents gathered on Ward Parkway to learn from a professional sculpture conservator and help maintain our community’s public art. The before-and-after results speak for themselves!

Photo Gallery

History and Achievements

In 1993 the Historic Kansas City Foundation received a grant from the National Save Outdoor Sculpture project to survey the outdoor public sculptures in the metropolitan area. Over 40 volunteers participated by completing an eight-page survey and taking photos. The surveys of over 200 fountains and sculptures were sent to a national database at the Smithsonian.

In 1996, some of those same volunteers created a grassroots effort to raise funds to provide conservation and maintenance endowments for Kansas City’s monuments and fountains. They determined that many fountains and sculptures needed immediate attention. The Wm. T. Kemper Foundation funded a brochure to assist them in their efforts.

By 2004, eleven had been conserved and endowments were in place for six. Funds are held by our present partner, The City of Fountains Foundation, a nonprofit corporation, and volunteer conservators from the Nelson-Atkins Museum help monitor the needs of these monuments.

Below is a chronological list of our efforts.

History and Achievements


  • Link to Smithsonian for 5 county survey for National Save Outdoor Sculpture! (SOS!) project
  • Survey’s by volunteers in 1994 online at
  • Locate 29 monuments endangered and needing immediate conservation


  • Establish the Adopt A Monument! Project in Kansas City and a partnership with the City of Fountains Foundation to maintain endowment funds
  • Work with a local advertising agency to produce brochures (funded by the Wm. T. Kemper Foundation)
  • Three sculptures, Guardian Angel (Catholic Church), The Eagle (New York Life Building), Diana (Ritz Carlton Hotel) adopted by owners and conserved 


  • Create “storyboards” about our efforts for display at Kansas City, MO City Hall
  • Municipal Arts Commission agrees to set aside 10% of the 1% for public art for maintenance
  • Gave TV and radio interviews to promote awareness
  • Billboard announces project


  • Receive $5,000 from Health Midwest for repairs to American War Mothers Memorial
  • Sent postcards as maintenance reminders to all owners


  • Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation adopts Sea Horses at KCMO City Hall ($38,800)
  • Kick off campaign to raise funds for nineteen other monuments
  • Receive SOS! Award to assess 5 additional monuments
    • George Washington at Pershing Square
    • Eagle Scout Memorial at 39th & Gillham
    • Thomas Pendergast at Case Park
    • Generals Wall at Liberty Memorial
    • Abraham Lincoln at KCMO City Hall


  • Receive $25,000 from KCMO Downtown Preservation Fund to conserve and endow Andy Jackson equestrian sculpture at the Jackson County Courthouse
  • Work with students from two local elementary schools to raise funds (pennies) for the Mary Fraser Fountain at the KCMO Zoo (students learned how to clean sculpture) raise $4,000
  • All surveyed monuments online ( through SOS!
  • Work with elementary school students to produce a calendar of Kansas City Fountains


  • Assess The Hiker in Penn Valley Park with Assessment Award funds from SOS!
  • Receive a Conservation Award and raised matching funds to conserve The Scout
  • Include Kansas public sculpture in our activities


  • Change sponsorship from the Historic Kansas City Foundation to the City of Fountains Foundation 
  • Raise over $19,000 to conserve The Scout
  • Work with teachers and students at the Kansas City Art Institute to give them background on the work of conservators and how the sculptures they create need to be maintained
  • Complete surveys for 43 additional monuments, including some from Kansas


  • Receive SOS! Assessment Award to have conservation scientist assess problem with the Loose Park Wall Fountains 
  • Assist KCMO City Hall with the conservation of the Abe Lincoln and Tad at City Hall
  • Work with students from local schools who produced calendar of statues and fountains


  • Assist with the move and conservation of the Mary Fraser Memorial Fountain at the KC Zoo and donated $500 for landscaping
  • Approach the City Trust of KCMO to transfer their endowment funds for monuments to City of Fountains Foundation
  • Complete another 45 local surveys that were mailed to SOS! for database


  • Lobbied for PIAC funds to re-landscape The Scout and provide funds for 12 endangered monuments
  • Lobbied for bond funds for conservation of endangered monuments
  • Provided two maintenance training sessions
  • Completed and sent 13 surveys to SOS!


  • Received a $6,000 grant to conserve The Wagonmaster at Intercontinental Hotel on the Plaza
  • Provided maintenance training for four local cities and the county
  • Lobbied for PIAC funds for endangered monuments
  • Brought in conservators to conserve The Scout


  • Provided maintenance training for Prairie Village Public Works staff
  • Completed 15 surveys
  • Initiated addition of sculptures to the City of Fountains Foundation website
  • Initiate annual maintenance training project including Pioneers in Westport,  The Firefighters on 31st Street, neighborhood stone sculptures, cemetery monuments and others
  • Receive Achievement Award from national SOS! of $500


  • $5,000 from UMB for The Scout landscaping
  • Survey training class


  • Planning begins for Festival of Fountains for COFF 40th anniversary
  • Partner with MAC to put QR codes on the Wagonmaster and Churchill sculptures
  • Taggart conserves Seahorse Fountains at City Hall


  • Kansas City Festival of Fountains kicks off campaign to raise $3,000,000 to repair City fountains.    


  • An on-line art auction of plein-air paintings by local artists raises $4,000.
  • Maintenance class for Shawnee firefighters
  • Volunteers now deliver books to Nelson, Liberty Memorial, Union St. and Best of KC


  • Problems with website and Brad and Alexis offer to redesign
  • Maintenance class for Prairie Village Homes Association
  • Roy Inman donates books to COFF and volunteers deliver to 4 locations


  • Brad and Alexis present website to Board and design approved
  • Four tours and four PowerPoint presentations


  • Taggart conserved the Seahorse Fountains at City Hall
  • Book deliveries halted as we are running out of books
  • Zahner and Taggart submit bids for Wagon Master and Bull Rider
  • Five tours and two PowerPoint presentations


  • Maintenance class for Prairie Village Homes Association
  • Four tours and one PowerPoint presentations
  • Placed signs on WWI Memorials owned by Parks Dept.


  • Seven tours and 2 PowerPoint presentations




  • One tour
  • 5 conservations
  • 2 survey training sessions
  • One maintenance class for Crestwood residents
Ongoing Programs

Maintenance Training

  • Conservators from the Nelson-Atkins Museum and volunteers hold  maintenance training sessions each year in the spring and  in the fall for organizations that have the responsibility for maintenance of public monuments;, home’s associations and individuals who wish to learn how to properly clean bronze and stone sculptures and fountains.

Survey Updates

  • A committee composed of conservators and community volunteers monitors changes to and additions of sculptures and monuments in the metropolitan area. They complete survey forms, with photographs, and forward to SOS! for the national database at the Smithsonian.


  • To date the committee raised local funds to repair nine landmarks ($210,000 locally and $6,400 from SOS!). Other funds awarded from SOS! total over $25,000. We are currently seeking endowment funds for many of the iconic Kansas City Fountains.


  • The committee monitors the monuments that have been endowed by our program  and brings in conservators to handle annual maintenance and repairs.

Lobby Efforts

  • When the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department or other organizations responsible for the maintenance of outdoor public sculpture need assistance with funding, we offer our help in presenting the case for the endangered monument(s) and fountains.

Connect with Us!

Fountain Partners

KC Bier Co.
Helen S. Boylan Foundation
Mason L. Dean Testamentary Foundation
Estelle S. and Robert A. Long Ellis Foundation
Alex Hamil
Roy Inman
Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation
The Kansas City Royals
Made in Kansas City
Rally House
Seen Merch
Irma Starr

Map Us Out

Contact Us

P.O. Box 8912
Kansas City, MO


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