Monuments Conservation Program

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In 1997, the Citywide Monuments Conservation Program was launched with two initial goals: to augment through private investment the City’s care of its public art collection and to train the next generation of conservators.

The Citywide Monuments Conservation Program performs conservation and maintenance of the extensive and irreplaceable public art collection in New York City’s parks. The program is supported by individual, corporate, and foundation grants; the City Parks Foundation is its fiscal sponsor.

Since its inception, the program has conserved 60 sculptures and provided full-scale, high-quality annual care for more than 100 additional sculptures and monuments. The work crews consist of seasonal conservation trainees selected from graduate programs in historic preservation, objects conservation, art history, and fine arts. The apprentices work under the direction of the Monuments Program’s professional conservation staff.

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Seeking to avoid cycles of renovation and decline, the Citywide Monuments Conservation Program performs regular follow-up maintenance of previously conserved statuary, ensuring consistently high aesthetic conditions.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Contributions to the Citywide Monuments Conservation Program may support general operations, special projects and monuments endowments.

Donations are payable to the City Parks Foundation and should be sent to the Citywide Monuments Conservation Program, The Arsenal, Room 20, Central Park, New York, NY 10065. If you would like to learn more, please call the Monuments Coordinator at (212) 360-8143.

Historical Monument Conservation

With support from the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) this film was taken in the 1930s by Karl Gruppe (1893-1982), chief sculptor of the Monument Restoration Project of the New York City Parks Department, from 1934 to 1937. It documents Gruppe’s modeling and creation of the Henry Hudson Monument in the Bronx, as well as Parks Monuments Restoration Crew activities in the mid to late 1930s.

The Citywide Monuments Conservation Program (CMCP) will preserve three notable monuments on Staten Island’s North Shore. All three sculptures will be sensitively cleaned, with protective coatings renewed on the bronzes.

 

The Neptune Fountain at Snug Harbor Cultural Center is an ornate fountain featuring a bronze Neptune, the Roman god of the sea. Sherry Edmundson Fry’s Clarence T. Barrett Memorial depicts a bronze classical warrior figure on a marble pedestal. Allen Newman’s stoic and rugged Hiker pays homage to the local soldiers that fought in the Spanish-American war. 

 

These three sculptures are among the many monuments throughout New York City’s five boroughs that are receiving care this summer as part of the Citywide Monuments Conservation Program, a conservation training initiative now in its 23rd season. Since its inception in 1997, the public-private partnership has worked to preserve the city’s rich cultural heritage and provide graduate-level apprentices with professional training through hands-on work on the nation’s leading collection of public art.

 

Art in the Parks