Einstein Memorial

Location: Washington, DC

The Einstein Memorial was designed and erected in 1979 by sculptor Robert Berks. The base is composed of a three step semi-circular bench of white Mount Airy granite surrounding a twenty-eight foot base paved with Norwegian Emerald Pearl Granite and decorated with a star map composed of thousands of stainless steel ferrules. The pavers are quite large and have extremely fine, precise cut joints less than 1/8" in width. One of these pavers cracked in 2005, prompting a conservation assessment by JMA Preservation. JMA Preservation's report recommended immediate repair of the stone base and also recommended future maintenance and restoration of the stature to remove failed pigmented coatings and to address corrosion of the bronze surfaces.

JMA Preservation was subsequently contracted by the National Academy of Sciences to perform the necessary treatments to clean and stabilize the monument's stone base. Work included installation of new sealant at all true and false joints in the decorative paving. Pavers were re-supported at their perimeter edge with non-corrosive shims and the cracked paver received new custom stainless steel supports and was reset in its precise original position on a new mortar bed.

In 2007 JMA Preservation was again contracted by NAS to perform conservation treatment of the bronze statue of Einstein. Working in collaboration with McKay Lodge Conservation, the JMA Preservation team performed micro-abrasive cleaning & chemical repatination of the bronze surfaces. The statue was carefully buffed and rubbed to recreate the original appearance conforming to the artists' intent and finished with a microcrystalline wax.