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The 2002 Conservation

<a href="/items/browse?advanced%5B0%5D%5Belement_id%5D=50&advanced%5B0%5D%5Btype%5D=is+exactly&advanced%5B0%5D%5Bterms%5D=The+Weaver+Before+Conservation">The Weaver Before Conservation</a>

The Weaver showing 80 years of patina prior to its 2002 conservation.

<a href="/items/browse?advanced%5B0%5D%5Belement_id%5D=50&advanced%5B0%5D%5Btype%5D=is+exactly&advanced%5B0%5D%5Bterms%5D=The+Weaver+front+view">The Weaver front view</a>

The Weaver, conserved, 2002

  • In June, 2001, Library Director Connie Lachowicz received a $5,000 grant from a program called Save Outdoor Sculpture to help finance the conservation of The Weaver. With some additional fundraising, the project was accomplished.
  • The late Clifford Craine, a nationally recognized conservator, performed the work, and spoke at Peace Dale Library in 2003. He reported using water applied at high pressure to remove the patina, adding that other techniques conservators might use included crushed walnuts or microscopic glass beads.
  • Craine believed the Weaver was atypical of French's work, being "more modern", "stepping away from classical and beaux-arts", showing "more linearity", with the "drapery taking on a life of its own."
  • Craine’s Massachusetts firm, now known as Dedalusart, does “preservation of antiquities, sculpture, decorative arts, monuments, historic fountains, grave markers, cemetery monuments, and architectural ornament.” The firm’s website links to Craine’s 2016 Boston Globe obituary.
  • The 2002 restoration came to about $16,500. Adding to the $5000 from Save Outdoor Sculpture (a joint project of Heritage Preservation and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, with support from Target Stores and the National Endowment for the Arts) the rest was raised with donations, notably from Mabel Cheney Smith, Polly Eddy, and the South Kingstown Millenium Commission. 67 sculptures were identified nationwide for this funding, 2 in Rhode Island.

Jessica Wilson