Sir Samuel James Way was born in Portsmouth, England in 1836 and arrived in Adelaide in 1853. In 1861, he was admitted to the South Australian Bar to practice law and in 1875, became the Member for Sturt in the House of Assembly. Within months, Way was appointed Attorney-General and the following year, at the young age of 40, he was selected Chief Justice, Supreme Court of South Australia and served until 1916.
In 1876, he also became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Adelaide and in 1883 appointed Chancellor, a position he would hold to the end of his life.
The Sir Samuel Way Memorial Statue, situated in Prince Henry Gardens, North Terrace, Adelaide was unveiled in 1924 and is constructed of bronze with a granite plinth.
In 2011, Artlab was engaged by City of Adelaide to conserve the memorial unlike many of the city’s commemorative sculptures, the monument had never been treated since the unveiling.
The statue had a dry, dull appearance, with some heavy areas of orange, as well as black crusts to the head, shoulders and back. After cleaning, samples of the orange and black areas were taken for analysis to identify the specific corrosion products and percentages present (such as atacamite, brochantite, and calcite. Some corrosion patina product is benign whereas others can be much more active). The results determined the appropriate method to then treat the memorial.
The treatment included a small amount of re-patination to return areas of raw surface to a uniform appearance. The bronze was hot-waxed providing surface protection and buffed.
The stonework was jos cleaned and re-pointed. Missing areas of black inscribed text were in-painted to reinstate the inscription.
Sir Samuel Way Memorial Statue
Cast bronze statue and granite pedestal
City of Adelaide
Claire Le Duc, Artlab and Abby Maxwell-Bowen, Artlab Conservation Project Manager surface cleaning the bronze.
Abby Maxwell-Bowen spot cleaning and drying the surface after cleaning.
Joanna Romanos, Principal Conservator Projects during the hot-waxing stage of the treatment.
Images 5 – 18 indicate before and after conservation treatment.
Sir Samuel Way Memorial Statue, Prince Henry Gardens, North Terrace, Adelaide, completed after conservation treatment.