Thursday, July 5, 2012

Neglected World's Fair statue to be restored

From the NY Times:

Twenty-five years ago, the Municipal Art Society opened a campaign to preserve 20 public sculptures. (I remember it as clearly as if I’d covered it myself.) The idea of the program, Adopt-a-Monument, was to entice benefactors into supporting specific artworks for which the city could no longer afford to care.

There was a needy monument for just about every philanthropic budget.

Nineteen of the 20 monuments were eventually adopted. The program was so successful that 16 more monuments were added, as were 15 public murals, under a companion drive called Adopt-a-Mural.

But one adoptive prospect had yet to be fully financed until now.

That would be Donald DeLue’s 43-foot-tall bronze “Rocket Thrower,” on the grounds of the 1964-65 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens. It might be described as an icon of heroic, midcentury, monumental Neo-Classicism. It might also be described as a gargantuan fairgrounds tchotchke of homoerotic kitsch.

A restoration fund has finally come together. “Rocket Thrower” was awarded a $10,000 grant from the new Partners in Preservation program. About $11,000 has been contributed in small amounts. Marvin and Donna Schwartz have given $15,000. And $79,000 more is to be drawn from a $600,000 bequest to the Adopt-a-Monument program by George Trescher, a leading fund-raiser who died in 2003.


Anonymous said...

Thank God.

I thought the money would be wasted on something like Bowne House or Poppenhusen Institute or the Steinway Mansion.

Worthy project like this and the Astoria Diving Platform as well as the funding starved Queens Co Farm Museum are getting much needed monies.

Joe said...

I find this very strange.
I personaly know 2 people (experts in this field) who offered to restore it pro-bono (free)
Helen Marshall sent direct orders no to have anybody lay a finger on it.
To add --it doesnt need $10,000 worth of work to restore. Who will be watching and distributing this $$ money raised ?

Anonymous said...

The city doesn't know how to fill a pot hole, plant a tree, or clean a park. They are in no position to maintain a historic monument either, sad to say.