Central Park Statuary Collection

New York, NY

New York City’s Parks house one of the world’s finest collections of outdoor sculptures and monuments. The broadly dispersed collection represents a major challenge for curatorial and conservation management.

Mark Rabinowitz, VP of Conservation and Principal Conservator, established innovative methods to survey, assess, treat and maintain the entire NY City Park collection, beginning in Central Park (which is managed by a dedicated not-for-profit organization) then expanding to the city at large. Over more than ten years, each work was brought to maintenance standards through careful conservation treatments, then kept in excellent condition through annual assessment and maintenance programs. These achievements have been recognized by awards from the New York City Art Commission, New York Preservation League, and Heritage Preservation/Save Outdoor Sculpture for both the programs as a whole and for individual treatments. More than 60 graduate student interns from North America, South America and Europe were trained in conservation procedures through the programs.

As Director of Historic Preservation for Central Park and the Chief Consulting Conservator for the entire Parks Department, Rabinowitz was also involved in the review of new monument and public art installations. He collaborated with architects and sculptors on the design and fabrication of the Duke Ellington Memorial and the Jose de San Martin statues, as well as numerous temporary installations.