Central Park Statuary Collection

New York, NY

New York City Parks collectively house one of the world’s finest collections of outdoor sculptures and monuments (Central Park’s collection is managed separately by a dedicated not-for-profit organization). The broadly dispersed collection represents a major challenge for curatorial and conservation management. Beginning in Central Park and then expanding to the city at large, senior conservator Mark Rabinowitz, established innovative means to survey, assess, treat and maintain the entire collection. Over more than ten years, each work was brought to maintenance standards through careful conservation treatments as well as kept in excellent condition through comprehensive on-going annual assessment and maintenance.

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. He is co-author of “Today for Tomorrow: Designing Outdoor Sculpture”.

More than 60 student interns from graduate programs in North America, South America and Europe were trained in conservation procedures through these programs. Contributions from major corporate and foundation supporters have maintained these long term efforts. The program’s 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.