June 25, 2009
Preservation Alumnus, Zasha Guzman Torres, gives a Harriet Tubman Monument new life as part of New York City's Monuments Conservation Program. Work on the project was recently featured in the New York Times.
The Tubman bronze statue, officially titled "Swing Low," is a $2.8 million public commission by Alison Saar and is located at 122nd Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem. It was installed in 2007. Torres is working on the conservation project as an summer intern and says, "It is a great internship. I'm learning a lot, working very very hard and getting very very dirty every day, but I love it!"
The Monuments Conservation Program is a privately supported city endeavor to keep the more than 1,300 public monuments in New York looking as good as new. At a time when city parks budgets are being trimmed, and the work force is stretched at the art and antiquities unit of the city's Department of Parks and Recreation - which is charged with caring for public art - the Monument Conservation Program provides some extra relief. The program relies on private financing to pay for full-time conservationists and summer interns, with this year's brood of budding conservationists paid for by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the benefactor Donna Karan.
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