Maryland Military Monuments Commission
Maryland Military Monuments Commission War of 1812 Bicentennial Fundraising Campaign
The Governor’s Commission on Maryland Military Monuments was created to inventory the estimated 400 memorials honoring Maryland's veterans and to secure funds to preserve those monuments in need of preservation. The Commission, which is appointed by the Governor and chaired by Maryland's Secretary of Veterans Affairs, consists of up to twenty-one volunteer members who bring military, historical, business and government expertise to the important work of safeguarding our state's military monuments.
The builders of monuments historically have selected permanent materials with the expectation that their memorials would last for generations. Bronze, copper and stone are traditional choices to commemorate the people and events most meaningful to us. However, time, weather and soiling can obscure the details of sculpture and render inscriptions illegible. Since 1989, 100 monuments have received conservation treatment through full or partial sponsorship of the Commission. In some instances, the efforts have extended beyond Maryland's borders to memorialize the contributions of Marylanders who fought on the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Vicksburg, Mississippi, Brooklyn, New York and Stephenson, Virginia.
Professional conservation treatment has been provided for life-sized to heroic-scaled sculptures of bronze, copper, marble, granite, and cast concrete, as well as many smaller relief sculptures and tablets. Projects include works by architect Stanford White, sculptors Giuseppe Moretti, Hans Schuler, Joseph Maxwell Miller, Edward Berge, Ephraim Keyser, Frederick Volk, and stock monuments by E. M. Viquesney, the American Bronze Company, and the W. H. Mullins Company. Treatments have followed the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and have been provided by qualified conservators and preservation professionals under the direction of the Maryland Historical Trust.
In the years since the Commission was formed, donations have been raised through the generosity of individuals, private groups and veterans’ organizations. Projects also are funded through the annual budget of the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs. Additional financial resources have been provided through community sponsorships and by working with civic and governmental organizations. The Commission has partnered with the City of Baltimore in support of efforts to conserve the Battle Monument and the Francis Scott Key Memorial Fountain, and with the National Park Service for treatment of the Maryland monuments at Antietam National Battlefield, Gettysburg National Military Park, Vicksburg National Military Park and Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine.
Monuments outside of the national parks are typically owned by counties and municipalities. The Commission has the expertise to work with the owners to obtain professional and appropriate treatment for these historic resources. With an understanding of the importance of continued maintenance, the Commission has established a program to preserve the work thus far accomplished. Forty-eight of the historic monuments with bronze sculptures or tablets receive routine maintenance to ensure the initial wax coating continues to protect the bronze. These monuments have been placed on a three-year maintenance cycle: a conservator washes the stone and bronze components and touches up any areas of bronze where the wax has started to break down. Maintenance of this kind is far less costly than treatment for bronze that has been allowed to deteriorate. Wise planning and maintenance will prolong the time our memorials convey their meaning.
Statutory Authority: Executive Order 01.01.2008.17