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Save Outdoor Sculpture! (SOS!) is a community-based effort to identify, document, and conserve outdoor sculpture in the United States. By fostering awareness and appreciation, SOS! aims to advocate proper care of a nationwide public resource.

The SOS! project may be viewed as a precursor of community-generated or "crowd-sourced" social media-driven initiatives.



Save Outdoor Sculpture! was initiated by Heritage Preservation: The National Institute of Conservation in 1989.[1] Thus far over 7,000 volunteers have cataloged and assessed the condition of over 30,000 publicly accessible statues and monuments installed outside.[2]

The Smithsonian Museum of American Art has become an active partner in the SOS! project, and SOS! material is available online as part of the Inventory of American Sculpture at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.[3] This partnership has allowed the database that contains these records to be viewable online, and searchable by state, artist, subject or title. The records in the Inventory pertain to all outdoor sculpture in the United States and a few outlying islands that have thus far been identified.

Educational programsEdit

A primary objective of SOS! is to educate, and a number of programs have been created for children. For example, SOS! has partnered with the Girl Scouts of the USA to create a Girl Scout patch[4] for scouts who participate in the project.


  1. ^ "Save Outdoor Sculpture!: A Community-Based Conservation Program, Getty Conservation Institute Newsletter 22.2 (Summer 2007)". Retrieved 2009-12-10.
  2. ^ "Save Outdoor Sculpture! About Page". Archived from the original on 2009-01-08. Retrieved 2009-04-25. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ "The Inventory is part of the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System". Retrieved 2009-04-25.
  4. ^ "Save Outdoor Sculpture! Girl Scout Patch Program" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-04-25.

External linksEdit