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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. Thus far over 7,000 volunteers have cataloged and assessed the condition of over 30,000 publicly accessible statues & monuments installed outside.
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. This partnership has allowed the database that contains these records to be viewable online, and searchable by state
. The records in the Inventory pertain to all sculpture in the United States and a few outlying islands.
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
The Girl Scouts of the United States of America is a youth organization for girls in the United States and American girls living abroad. It describes itself as "the world's preeminent organization dedicated solely to girls". It was founded by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912 and was organized after Low...
to create a Girl Scout patch for scouts who participate in the project.
Artworks surveyed by Save Outdoor Sculpture!