The Bronxville Public Library art collection was the recipient of the 2017 Preservation Award presented on December 13 at the Conservancy’s annual membership meeting and holiday reception at Siwanoy Country Club.
Established in 2015, the Preservation Award recognizes excellence in preservation, restoration, and conservation in the Village of Bronxville. Projects eligible for consideration include architectural restoration; conservation of architectural elements; renovations and additions; garden and landscape design; craftsmanship and fine art; preservation of the historical record; and stewardship and advocacy. Curator Jayne Warman submitted the application on behalf of the library in the stewardship and advocacy category.
The Preservation Award committee considered several submissions. Thoughtful deliberation occurred over several meetings this fall, and the library art collection emerged not only as an outstanding demonstration of excellence in stewardship, but also preservation, restoration, and conservation.
The committee determined this important collection of American paintings, drawings, sculpture, etchings, and prints — referencing Bronxville’s history as an art colony and the broader Hudson River School — should be recognized as an outstanding community legacy. The committee found the collection unique in that it is beautifully exhibited in an intimate public space and is accessible to all age groups. In addition, the care that has been given over the years to the restoration, cataloguing, appraisal, security, and overall conservation of the collection is a demonstration of stewardship at its best. It is a fine example of the community’s appreciation for its artistic heritage and also serves to spark inquiry into this history.
The award committee included seven professionals with expertise across a broad area of fields, including art, architecture, interior and landscape design, journalism, and city planning. The committee members were Suzanne Pratt Davis, journalist; Maureen Hackett, landscape designer; Anderson Kenny, architect; Stafford Meyer, interior and product designer; Sarah Underhill, freelance editor, writer, and art historian; Larry Vranka, lawyer and member of the Narragansett Historic Commission, Rhode Island; and Erin Saluti, co-chair of The Bronxville Historical Conservancy.
Erin Saluti described the challenging decision the committee faced: “We were honored to have received a group of outstanding projects for consideration spanning several categories. Although this made our decision difficult, it confirmed for us the pronounced care and ‘spirit of place’ exhibited by the residents of our community and of which the conservancy works so hard to foster.”
Sarah Normand, president of the board of trustees of the Bronxville Public Library said, “Our treasured artworks are an integral part of what makes the Bronxville Library so very special. For decades, the library’s trustees, directors, and curators have cared for the collection. We thank the conservancy for this wonderful recognition of their dedicated stewardship.”
In 2015, the inaugural award was presented to People’s United Bank for the restoration of the 1920s Gramatan National Bank Clock, and in 2016, Houlihan Lawrence was recognized for the exterior renovation of its historic home and offices at 4 Valley Road.