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Liberty Hyde Bailey Sculpture Renovation

Liberty Hyde Bailey was one of America’s greatest horticultural minds. Born and raised on a fruit farm in Michigan, he earned his undergraduate degree in Botany at Michigan Agricultural College (MAC; now MSU) in 1882. A few years later, he established the first horticulture department in the U.S. at MAC and served as its professor and chair. Bailey was a gifted and enthusiastic botanist, taxonomist, philosopher, writer, and teacher and is considered by most to be the Father of Modern Horticulture.

Bailey Statue showing wear.To honor this renowned 19th century horticulturist, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Sculpture Plaza was established in the MSU Horticulture Gardens in 1993 by two generous donors. The plaza features a bronze life-size statue of Bailey sculpted by a Michigan artist and is the largest and most prominent statue in the 14-acre Gardens complex. Countless students, faculty, staff, and visitors take selfies with Bailey each year and often pick a flower in the gardens and place it in his hands.

Over the years, the Bailey statue has experienced extensive degradation of its finishes. Of particular concern is the face and inside of the figure’s trousers, where rivulets of water have left pronounced vertical streaks. Left unchecked, these oxidative mineral deposits will etch into the bronze, permanently disfiguring the statue. We are seeking support to restore this treasure.

Your Support Will Make a Big Difference

Your support will supply a significant portion of the money needed ($17,200) to repair this treasure.

Project Budget

The money raised from this project will go directly towards the Bailey sculpture restoration costs.  The restoration of Bailey includes an art restoration firm cleaning, repainting, sealing, and waxing the bronze. This will protect the metal from further corrosion, give it better overall visual continuity, and make it much easier to maintain.

About the MSU Horticulture Gardens

The MSU Horticulture Gardens are largely self-funded and are located on campus, adjacent to the Plant and Soil Sciences Building at 1066 Bogue Street, East Lansing, MI. The Gardens' parking lot (Lot 54) is on Bogue Street, south of Wilson Road and north of Service Road. The Gardens consist of four main landscapes:  The 4-H Children’s Garden, the Judith DeLapa Perennial Garden, the Amien and Florence Carter Annual Trial garden, and the Clarence E. Lewis Landscape Arboretum (across the train tracks).  Our gardens are free to visit, but donations are greatly appreciated!

Make a Gift by Mail:

University Advancement
Spartan Way
535 Chestnut Road, Room 300
East Lansing, MI 48824

*Make check payable to Michigan State University and write “Appeal 21GGDCF1BAILEY” in the note section.

CARES Act

Remember the CARES Act has been extended for calendar year 2021 allowing taxpayers to take a charitable deduction of up to $300/$600 for those who take the standard deduction. As always, please consult your tax advisor/attorney for advice on your specific situation.

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