Apr 9, 2014

The Barbarians of Progress

Those empowered to bestow so called progress upon the dirty masses often lack historical and aesthetic appreciation, casting aside cultural treasures. This blog is proud to have documented the treasures of the former arena block, before the bulldozer arrived. Sometimes, because of curmudgeons such as myself, treasures find their way back home. The current cast iron water fountain in West Park is a reproduction of the original, after it was replaced by a modern monstrosity during a park improvement. Members of the Rose Garden Neighborhood Association inquired about the beautiful metal girl fountain, removed from the garden during an improvement. Through their diligence that fountain was relocated and returned. John Marquette is now on a quest to locate the Harry Bertoia sculpture that was removed from the airport,  when it was recently remodeled. Unfortunately, this city has lost numerous treasures over the decades, perhaps we need more curmudgeons.


Anonymous said...

That word is a word that does not describe you at all? You are one of the few that reports truths, not complaints of a crabapple old man? You report the edited out news that has the gag order of home rule? Just Hopes and prayers for there antics?

pattent pending

John said...

Here's the letter I'm about to deliver to the airport authority regarding the Harry Bertoia work. I was able to talk with someone and I'm confident he'll be able to respond formally to my request.

April 9, 2014

Mr. Darren Betters
Director, Business and Commercial Services
Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority
3311 Airport Road
Allentown, Pennsylvania 18109

Dear Mr. Betters:

Thank you for taking my call this afternoon regarding the Harry Bertoia sculpture owned by the airport authority and formerly displayed in the LVIA terminal. As we discussed, I have been having trouble learning of the work’s whereabouts and I am pleased to hear you say that the work is now in storage.

I would like to arrange an appointment to view and photograph the work for my files. I will provide fellow docents at the Allentown Art Museum with information on my site visit so that we can let the curatorial staff of the museum (which has been planning a 2015 retrospective show on Harry Bertoia) of its status. You can reach me at 6XX-XXX-XXXX (my cell number), by mail, or at jXXX@gmail.com.

As I told you during our phone conversation, I have attempted to find out the whereabouts of the work for about a year, and my last request to the airport authority - written and presented to the reception area last August - went unanswered. Hearing that the work is in storage and that you are aware that it was on display at one time is a great first step.

Thanks for your help and cooperation in protecting our region’s cultural heritage.


John Marquette
Principal, John Marquette Creative

Dreaming of Justice said...

Original public art defines the identity of a city, and whatever becomes of it with the passage of time and other more lucrative and showy distractions also tells a few tales. Sometimes, curmudgeons serve well as the vocal consciences of the public, even if the grammar or the timing of their outbursts upset the Big Plans.

John said...

No response yet from Mr. Betters of the airport authority regarding my formal inquiry. I've asked my state senator's office to initiate a followup.