At midnight on Saturday, September 22, Eye of Fashion returned to its longtime home outside the Goodman Center, on the southwest corner of 27th and Seventh. The 18-by-10-foot bronze sculpture, created by Robert Cronbach in 1976, had spent a year and a half at an art restoration facility in the Bronx, getting a much-needed facelift.
The interior steel armature had rusted, and the surface, once a shiny gold, had become dark, dull, and dirty, and was showing signs of serious deterioration. The artist had intended the sculpture to oxidize naturally over time, but weather, pollution, and age had taken a toll.
The restoration was undertaken by Wilson Conservation, LLC, one of New York City’s most respected conservation firms. The company, co-owned by FIT alumna Jackie Wilson, has conserved and restored outdoor sculptures at Herald Square, Madison Square Park, Princeton University, and the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue, among other locations.
The conservation process included repair of the armature, a thorough cleaning of the exterior, and the application of a protective patina to the surface. The patina is a gleaming, warm brown that simulates the look of natural oxidation, so Eye of Fashion looks both refreshed and integral to the site.
Check out photos of the late-night reinstallation of Eye of Fashion, taken by Austin Jensen, Photography ‘18, in this slideshow.