Twenty-five years after the bomb: Maintaining Cleveland’s The Thinker

Bruce Christman

Abstract

Cleveland’s The Thinker has a unique history in relation to the other twelve original casts done by Rodin. In 1970, Cleveland’s The Thinker was blown up as one of the last vestiges of the civil unrest that erupted over the Vietnam War and the assassination of Martin Luther King. The paper will present the treatment possibilities explored at that time. Of greater interest is the history of protective coatings that have been used on the sculpture, and have imparted a fair amount of protection. In the past, two commercial oil preparations were applied. Currently, The Thinker has been stabilized with an Incralac coating and is washed and waxed twice a year.