Embarking on our first art conservation project was a thrilling and transformative experience. Our team was privileged to work on a metal structure sculpture designed by the renowned artist George Sugarman. Little did we know that this endeavor would lead us to an unexpected encounter with two gentlemen who held a fascinating connection to the artwork. Allow me to share the incredible story of our journey and the serendipitous meeting that unfolded on the final day of the project.
As we worked diligently on the sculpture, I had the opportunity to converse with Patrice Sutton, Assistant to the Director at the Morris Arboretum & Gardens of the University of Pennsylvania. Eager to learn more about the artwork, I inquired about its history. Patrice shared that the structure was initially built at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia and served as the archway into the building. This newfound knowledge added an intriguing layer of significance to our conservation efforts.
The man who had spoken up introduced himself as Alfred Lippincott, the owner of Lippincott Sculptures, a highly respected firm exclusively engaged in fabricating and conserving large-scale sculptures since 1966. Lippincott Sculptures is renowned for its commitment to the highest standards and has collaborated with numerous artists. Interestingly, this was the same company that had fabricated the famous clothespin sculpture in downtown Philly.
Overwhelmed by this serendipitous encounter, I couldn’t resist asking Alfred Lippincott to take a photograph with me. As we posed together, I couldn’t help but share the news that we were in the process of repainting his work. His response was a mix of surprise and admiration. Having traveled from Connecticut, he had known that the piece was here but had yet to learn that we were undertaking its conservation. His encouragement and appreciation for our work left us pleased and motivated to continue our journey as art conservators.
This incredible encounter with Alfred Lippincott deepened our appreciation for the artwork we were conserving and emphasized the art world’s interconnectedness. The experience served as a reminder of the stories and histories woven into every piece, waiting to be uncovered and shared. As we completed our first art conservation project, we realized this was just the beginning of our journey in preserving and honoring the legacy of artistic creations.
Our first art conservation project was an unforgettable adventure, enriched by unexpected connections and encounters. The chance to meet with Alfred Lippincott, the company’s owner that had built the sculpture we were working on, was a testament to the interconnectedness of the art world. This encounter deepened our appreciation for the artwork’s history and motivated us to continue our journey as art conservators. As we celebrate the completion of this project, we look forward to future opportunities to preserve and breathe new life into the captivating stories held within works of art.