One of Indiana University’s most iconic pieces of outdoor sculpture will be undergoing restoration over the next month. Alexander Calder’s Peau Rouge Indiana stabile has been sitting in front of the Musical Arts Center since the facility was opened in 1971. Its fading paint is being removed through a chemical stripping process, so that the sculpture can be repainted in its original orange-red color.
Margaret Contompasis is the conservator of paintings at the IU Art Museum. She says it’s taken the museum two years to find a person able and willing to strip and repaint the stabile, as well as to find a method that would preserve the piece. Contompasis says repainting the stabile is vital, especially for something so recognizable.
The Peau Rouge Indiana is the last stabile that Calder designed before his death in 1976. Restoration is expected to take between four and six weeks.