Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Oct. 10, 1997

Petersen's vet med art is reinstalled

by Marilyn Vaughan

Two works of art serving as symbols for veterinary medicine were returned to the College of Veterinary Medicine this week after an extensive conservation effort. The college raised $228,000 from more than 500 alumni and friends to finance the conservation of the Veterinary Medicine mural and The Gentle Doctor sculpture.

Both the mural and The Gentle Doctor feature veterinarians caring for animals. They are being reinstalled in the plaza of the College of Veterinary Medicine. The college plans to celebrate their refurbishing Oct. 25 during ISU homecoming.

The mural, consisting of 44 panels and occupying an entire wall near the college entrance, was sent with the sculpture to Conservation Technical Associates, Connecticut, last November. It was created in 1937 by ISU sculptor-in-residence Christian Petersen.

Conservators removed excess cement from the panels, trimming their weight from 250 to 125 pounds each. They also immersed them in a chemical bath to remove salt and other mineral deposits on the surface.

The Gentle Doctor is a bronze reproduction of the original Petersen sculpture now housed in the Scheman Building to protect it from the elements. The reproduction was stripped of old paint and freshly painted to match the color of the terra cotta in the mural and to resemble the original sculpture.

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