ABINGTON, Pa. — Even in pieces amid the dust and debris of the ceramics studio at Penn State Abington, the statue retains a measure of its past grandeur. Rescued last winter from a temporary perch in the library, a replica of the Winged Victory of Samothrace is being completely restored.
Art faculty Chris Bonner saw potential in the decaying sculpture — an opportunity to research its history, to teach his students about contemporary mold-making, and to repair the old statue.
With art majors Hailey Rei Salamone and Mat Shetler, Bonner directed an undergraduate research project to restore the statue. Shetler spent 40 hours steam-cleaning the sculpture. The wings, badly broken, were stabilized. The team glued loose pieces of the wing to the frame.
Bonner, a former mold-maker at the Fonthill Castle and Moravian Pottery and Tile Works in nearby Doylestown, made a brush-rubber mold of the bust and created another mold on top of that to replicate the process of restoration.
There is much work ahead, but Bonner and his students are thrilled at the progress they have made and look forward to bringing the statue back to life.