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Spoonbridge and Cherry Sculpture

A Minnesota landmark —the 1,200-lb. cherry from Coosje van Bruggen’s “Spoonbridge and Cherry Sculpture” —was removed from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden to undergo paint restoration. Although the cherry had been repainted three times in its 20 years, Walker Art Center representatives expressed concern over the condition of its coatings. Our NACE Certified coating inspector, Tim Williams, performed a failure analysis, wrote the specification for the cherry’s repair, and monitored each phase of the cleaning and coating application process.

After the cherry was separated from the spoon, 11 coats of paint and a thick layer of underlying fairing compound (auto body putty) were removed from it. The auto putty had been used to create the form of the cherry, but was beginning to show signs of failure.

Next, the cherry was sprayed with a yellow oxide epoxy primer and a coat of gray epoxy primer. Layers of a green immersion-grade fairing compound, typically used on ships, were spread over the surface and allowed to dry before being hand-sanded to create the spherical shape.

Once the surface was pristine, another layer of gray epoxy was added before two coats of marine-grade “cherry red” polyurethane was applied. To finish it off, a clear-coat top layer was added to provide protection against UV rays.

We can mobilize our NACE coating inspection services to meet your project needs across the United States; from Texas, Minnesota, North Dakota and beyond. For more information on how our NACE coatings inspectors can be apart of your project success, contact us.


Oldenburg, Claes and Coosje van Bruggen
Spoonbridge and Cherry 1985-1988
aluminum, stainless steel, paint
Gift of Frederick R. Weisman in honor of his parents, William and Mary Weisman, 1988
© Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen