Published by Modern Art Foundry / VOLUME 29, NUMBER 1, 2014
Serving Artists and Communities Since 1932

Modern Art Foundry
World War 1 Monument
Saratoga Park, Brooklyn, NY

The Re-dedication Ceremony at Saratoga Park
September 10, 2014


In 1920, James S. J. Novelli, an Italian-American sculptor and prolific monument maker was commissioned to model a World War I monument for Saratoga Park in Brooklyn, NY. The Saratoga Monument consists of a granite plinth and two cast bronze honor rolls listing 106 local soldiers who died during the war that flank a life-size allegorical figure, also cast bronze. It is believed that in 1970, the two honor rolls went missing and in 2000, the figure was stolen. From that time until just a few months ago, the granite slab stood bare in Saratoga Park.

As part of a city parks restoration contract, working with Fina Gonzalez of WBE Unlimited Corporation, Modern Art Foundry hired professional sculptor Anatoly S. Mikhailov to model a replica sculpture from photographs and the remaining bronze fragments of the original work. Anatoly has worked for us before, most recently modeling a life-size figure of George M. Steinbrenner III located in the main lobby of Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY, and a life-size Abraham Lincoln for a private collector. In addition to modeling and casting the Saratoga figure, the two honor rolls were also recast as seen in the lower right photo below.

"It is incredibly interesting and exciting to be part of restoring historically significant work. Using reference documents and images, you feel a sense of time travel as you set out to repeat what was once completed and presented to the public. The process from start to finish is very engaging." ∼ Jeffrey Spring

Artist Spotlight -
Yoan Capote

"I try always to be involved in every moment. In every department at the foundry, even the patina. I want to see it because of all the details. If I am not here - I need to be positive it is going to be the same as if I am here."


Born in Havana-Cuba in 1977, Yoan Capote arrived at Modern Art Foundry in the spring of 2013. He heard of our services from a fellow artist. In just a few months, Long House Reserve in East Hampton was holding an exhibition featuring his work.

A day or so after meeting us, two very large tree branches arrived and we began working on his work Migrant. Yoan's experience was clear from the start. He defined how we could collaborate to cast his work. As this work developed, he also hired us to complete a few more for the show and all were completed for the August opening. He told us for him the show was a success.

As an artist coming to NYC for the first time, he did not have a studio. We welcomed him to our facility, set up a studio space for him to layout his installation, and he began the process of bringing his creation to life.

Yoan explained to us that he began his career as a painter but moved to sculpture because the themes that influenced his work such as migration and freedom are better developed in sculpture through his hands on approach. His internationally recognized career includes a series of group and one-person exhibitions. His biography includes shows starting in 1994 and a UNESCO Prize in 2000 as part of an artist collaborative work. Today The American Friends of the Ludwig Foundation provide significant support to his career.

In our discussion for this article, he explained that through his work he always tries to provide meaning to a subject. Often the materials are symbolic. His choices are very important to him and influence the entire development and final layout of his installations. He added that working at the foundry was further rewarding because he describes it as a place where you can encounter other artists and feel their energy. He is comfortable in our setting and feels inspired by the foundry's long history.

Conservation & Maintenance Services

For many years, Modern Art Foundry's Conservation & Maintenance Services have been restoring and preserving bronze works on site and in house. The on site work includes annual contracts for cleaning and protective waxing. This work is completed for both public and private clients. Public projects often bring us in contact with figurative sculpture celebrating and memorializing individuals or causes. Many of these are of well-known historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin. Almost each summer since 2005 the Modern Art Foundry conservation team heads to Washington DC, hired by the American Friends of the Czech Republic, to clean and wax the fifteen-foot tall statue of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. Masaryk was the first president of Czechoslovakia from 1918 to 1935. Further, our staff regularly works on a number of Fireman Memorials in the NYC area, Civil War Memorials near and far, and just recently we were hired by Essex County NJ to provide conservation services to three of the statues under their care: Governor Byrne, US Representative Payne, and Althea Gibson.

Born in 1927, Althea Gibson was the first African American to cross the color line of international tennis. In 1956, she won the French Open and then won Wimbledon and the US Nationals (US Open) consecutively in 1957 and 1958. Both years she was voted Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press. After winning the 1957 Wimbledon final, she was presented the trophy by Queen Elizabeth II. She later remarked, "Shaking hands with the queen of England is a long way from being forced to sit in the colored section of the bus." Following continued success on the tennis court, she became the first African American woman to join the Ladies Profession Golf Association tour in 1964 at age 37. Passing away in 2003 it is without question that Althea Gibson had a wide influence in growing opportunities for minority athletes and for young girls to reach for goals beyond the traditional. A life-size statue of Althea Gibson now stands in Branch Brook Park, Newark- NJ, dedicated in 2012.

If you have a memorial or monument in your neighborhood and would like to be proactive in caring for it, send us an email with an image to info@modernartfoudnry.com or call.

Spring Gallery is Available On-line



Bird, bronze– Eastern White Pine Cone, bronze – Lunchtime Playground, bronze
Spring Gallery, established in Belgrade Lakes Maine in 2000, has now transitioned to a full time on line exhibition site following 12 years of brick and mortar summer shows. With a renewed on line outreach program, Spring Gallery is focused on presenting and selling works through our eBay store, select consignments, and social media tools. We have shipped to many locations in the United States and around the globe. Find out more at: www.springgallerymaine.com.

Modern Art Foundry
18-70 41st Street, Astoria, NY 11105

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Published by Modern Art Foundry / VOLUME 29, NUMBER 1, 2014