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Refurbished sculpture to return next month

Under repair for more than a year, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s Helmholtz sculpture is expected to return to the downtown arts campus in early September with some upgrades from the original abstract sculptor, Mark di Suvero.

New concrete pads are being laid for the 21-foot-tall steel I-beam structure that depicts a bull. The pads will fit the new angle of the bull’s left front leg, a slight shift that Executive Director Charles Shepard III said di Suvero felt would give the front of the statue more of a punch.

In June 2013, a man lost control of his truck as he crossed Main Street and crashed into the sculpture, which was installed in 1985.

Shepard says di Suvero has also designed the front legs to be welded to a matching steel cover secured to the concrete pad underneath; before the crash, the 8-ton sculpture had not been bolted down.

Shepard says he is thinking of adding low, non-intrusive concrete benches around the exterior of the statue as well.

“It’s just extra insurance that may be worth doing,” he says.

But Shepard says this is more than just a repair, it is remake of the original piece. Di Suvero, opting to work free-hand on the sculpture, has added more value to the piece from $1 million to $1.4 million to nearly $2 million.

Shepard says the fact that the sculpture is one of di Suvero’s favorite pieces and that, as a living artist, he has had the unique opportunity to revisit the piece also adds value.

“If he had simply sent his team for the repairs, it would be back at the original market value, but there’s no hand of master,” he says.

“The fact that di Suvero stepped in makes it an improved piece.”

The concrete pedestal adds $33,000 to the overall total of repairs – which Shepard estimates to be $100,000 to $200,000 – fully covered by the museum’s insurance. Although the driver’s insurance may offset the bill for the museum.

The museum plans to unveil the sculpture with a tentative selfie contest, museum sculpture tour and a presentation on Helmholtz and di Suvero to educate more visitors on the sculpture and abstract art.

“At first, it was about doing this celebration as a venting of relief that it’s done, but I think it’s time to talk about di Suvero and probably one of the most expensive and artistically, the most important piece in our collection,” he says.

kcarr@jg.netUnder repair for more than a year, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s Helmholtz sculpture is expected to return to the downtown Arts Campus in early September with some new upgrades from the original abstract sculptor, Mark di Suvero.

New concrete pads are being laid for the 21-foot-tall steel I-beam structure that depicts a bull. The pads will fit the new angle of the bull’s left front leg, a slight shift that Executive Director Charles Shepard III said di Suvero felt would give the front of the statue more of a punch.

In June 2013, a man lost control of his truck as he crossed Main Street and crashed into sculpture. The sculpture was installed in 1985.

Shepard says that di Suvero has also designed the front legs to be welded to a matching steel cover secured to the concrete pad underneath; before the crash, the 8-ton sculpture had not been bolted down.

Shepard says he is thinking of adding low, non-intrusive concrete benches around the exterior of the statue as well.

“It’s just extra insurance that may be worth doing,” he says.

However, Shepard says this is more than just a repair, it is remake of the original piece. Di Suvero, opting to work free-hand on the sculpture, has added more value to the piece from $1 million to $1.4 million to nearly $2 million.

Shepard says the fact that the sculpture is one of di Suvero’s favorite pieces and that as a living artist, he has had the unique opportunity to revisit the piece, which also adds value.

“If he had simply sent his team for the repairs, it would be back at the original market value, but there’s no hand of master,” he says. “The face that di Suvero stepped in makes it an improved piece.”

The concrete pedestal adds $33,000 to the overall total of repairs fully covered by the museum’s insurance, which Shepard estimates to be $100,000 to $200,000. Although, the driver’s insurance may offset the bill for the museum.

The museum plans to unveil the sculpture with a tentative selfie contest, museum sculpture tour and a presentation on Helmholtz and di Suvero to educate more viewers on the sculpture and abstract art.

“At first, it was about doing this celebration as a venting of relief that it’s done, but I think it’s time to talk about di Suvero and probably one of the most expensive and artistically, the most important piece in our collection,” he says.

kcarr@jg.net

Under repair for more than a year, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s Helmholtz sculpture is expected to return to the downtown Arts Campus in early September with some new upgrades from the original abstract sculptor, Mark di Suvero.

New concrete pads are being laid for the 21-foot-tall steel I-beam structure that depicts a bull. The pads will fit the new angle of the bull’s left front leg, a slight shift that Executive Director Charles Shepard III said di Suvero felt would give the front of the statue more of a “punch.”

In June 2013, a man lost control of his truck as he crossed Main Street and crashed into sculpture. The sculpture was installed in 1985.

Shepard says that di Suvero has also designed the front legs to be welded to a matching steel cover secured to the concrete pad underneath; before the crash, the 8-ton sculpture had not been bolted down.

Shepard says he is thinking of adding low, non-intrusive concrete benches around the exterior of the statue as well.

“It’s just extra insurance that may be worth doing,” he says.

However, Shepard says this is more than just a repair, it is remake of the original piece. di Suvero opting to work free-hand on the sculpture has added more value to the piece from $1 million to $1.4 million to nearly $2 million. He says the fact that the sculpture is one of di Suvero’s favorite pieces and that as a living artist, he has had the unique opportunity to revisit the piece, which also adds value.

“If he had simply sent his team for the repairs, it would be back at the original market value, but there’s no hand of master,” he says. “The face that di Suvero stepped in makes it an improved piece.”

The concrete pedestal adds $33,000 to the overall total of repairs fully covered by the museum’s insurance, which Shepard estimates to be $100,000 to $200,000. Although, the driver’s insurance may offset the bill for the museum.

The museum plans to unveil the sculpture with a tentative selfie contest, museum sculpture tour and a presentation on Helmholtz and di Suvero to educate more viewers on the sculpture and abstract art.

“At first, it was about doing this celebration as a venting of relief that it’s done, but I think it’s time to talk about di Suvero and probably one of the most expensive and artistically, the most important piece in our collection,” he says.

kcarr@jg.net

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