For Immediate Release: July 22, 2011
Images available upon request
Kimberly Rawson, 413.445.4467, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chesterwood, A National Trust Historic Site, Awarded Prestigious Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services
Stockbridge, Mass. – Chesterwood, a National Trust Historic Site, has recently been awarded an American Heritage Preservation Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in the amount of $3,000 for the stabilization and repair of “Victory”, an important Daniel Chester French sculpture in the permanent collection.
Chesterwood, French’s home and studio in Stockbridge, was awarded one of 54 American Heritage Preservation grants, out of 146 applications.
“Victory” is the commemorative sculpture created by Daniel Chester French in 1924 for the First Division Monument in Washington, DC. The First Division Monument was the first monument to veterans of World War I in our nation’s capital. The monument, designed by architect Cass Gilbert (1859-1934), is a monolithic column, topped by French’s 15-foot-tall allegorical statue of “Victory”. The half-scale gilded bronze working model in the Chesterwood collection is 7 ½ feet high, and is one of only a handful of known reductions, and possibly the only one from this commission in a collection available for public viewing.
“I am delighted that the American Heritage Preservation grant has allowed us to preserve Daniel Chester French’s beautiful bronze working model of “Victory”,” said Donna Hassler, Director of Chesterwood. “It is one of his most imaginative and uplifting compositions. Once “Victory” has received its much-needed conservation and restoration treatment at the Williamstown Art Conservation Center, we look forward to displaying this important artwork for the enjoyment of our visitors for years to come.”
Treatment activities will include mechanical removing of corrosive material, repairing stress cracks, and reattaching loose elements. Upon completion, the model will be displayed indoors at Chesterwood to mitigate any future damage. Chesterwood hopes to exhibit the work as part of a multi-city traveling exhibition on French’s First Division Monument.
The American Heritage Preservation Grants are made possible through a partnership between IMLS and the Bank of America Foundation.
“We are proud to be partners with the Bank of America Foundation in making these awards. American Heritage Preservation Grants enrich communities’ sense of place and identity. These projects help libraries and museums care for collections that tell powerful stories about life in the U.S.,” said IMLS Director Susan Hildreth.
The restoration of “Victory” is part of an ongoing effort at Chesterwood to address environmental damage to its outdoor sculpture and the site’s larger commitment to proper stewardship of its collection. Chesterwood has undertaken a program of repair and restoration to conserve these objects. In some cases, such as with “Victory,” where the work was not placed outdoors during French’s lifetime, the National Trust has determined it is appropriate and necessary to install the objects indoors after restoration.
American Heritage Preservation Program grants are used by small museums, libraries, and archives to help to preserve specific items, including works of art, artifacts and historical documents that are in need of conservation. Applicants will build on completed conservation assessments of their collections, to ensure that the grants are used in accordance with best practices in the field, and underscore the importance of assessment planning. Nearly 190 million objects in U.S. collections are in immediate danger of deterioration and need restoration or conservation, according to the Heritage Health Index report.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit www.imls.gov.
Chesterwood, A National Trust Historic Site, is the country home, studio and gardens of America’s foremost public sculptor, Daniel Chester French (1850-1931), creator of “The Minute Man” in Concord, MA, and “Abraham Lincoln” for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.
Chesterwood is open daily through October 10. The site will also be open the last three weekends in October. Guided tours of Daniel Chester French’s historic Studio and residence are available on Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for an additional $2 fee. Admission is $15 for adults; $7.50 for members of the National Trust for Historic Preservation; and is free for Friends of Chesterwood members and for children under 18. The Legacy Banks Foundation is the sponsor for free admission for children under 18 through July.
Chesterwood is located at 4 Williamsville Road, off Route 183, in Stockbridge. For more information, please visit Chesterwood.org or call 413-298-3579.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a non-profit membership organization bringing people together to protect, enhance and enjoy the places that matter to them. Learn more at PreservationNation.org.
# # #
Special exhibition through October 10: Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood 2011. Explore the exquisite grounds and trails of Chesterwood to discover the juried best in contemporary sculpture. Open daily through October 10, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Chesterwood, 4 Williamsville Road, off Route 183, Stockbridge. 413.298.3579. Chesterwood.org
Saturday, August 13, 1 to 4 p.m.: “Really Breaking the Mold: Unconventional Sculptural Processes”. Discover the fascinating world of non-traditional sculptural processes during an afternoon of workshops and demonstrations presented by Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood artists. Sculptors will share the unusual techniques and processes they use to create sculptures that defy convention and will help participants explore creative ideas through hands-on opportunities. Families welcome. Free with admission to Chesterwood; admission is free for children under 18. 4 Williamsville Road, off Route 183, Stockbridge. 413.298.3579 x25216. Chesterwood.org
Saturday, August 13, 4 p.m.: A Conversation with Sculptor Leonda Froehlich Finke. Internationally renowned sculptor Leonda Froehlich Finke, whose work is featured in Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood 2011, will join Chesterwood Director Donna Hassler in conversation to discuss her working methods and prolific career. Refreshments and light hors d’oeuvres will be served following the program. Free with admission to Chesterwood; admission is free for children under 18. 4 Williamsville Road, off Route 183, Stockbridge. 413.298.3579 x25216. Chesterwood.org