The Legacy of Gaetano Federici Symposium        June 4, 2016

Held at Lambert Castle, 3 Valley Rd., Paterson, the symposium will have presentations about the life and art of Federici, as well as a virtual tour of his commissioned public monuments.
Seating is limited; call Kelly Ruffel at 973-321-1220 ext. 2263 to reserve your spot. There is a $10 fee; payment must be made in advance. Make checks to City of Paterson Trust Fund, and mail to: City of Paterson Historic Preservation Commission, 125 Ellison St., 4th Floor, Paterson, NJ 07505.

In a career that spanned more than half a century, Gaetano Federici went on to complete no less than forty commissioned public monuments within a two-mile radius of Paterson's City Hall; some fifteen of them within two or three blocks of each other. Whether statues, plaques, or lunette carvings (like that of the Archangel Overpowering Lucifer atop St. Michael's door on Cianci Street), they all have that distinctive mark of telling it like it is. Federici wrote "the artists' work[s] that will survive are true likenesses of people, things, and events."

The Legacy of Gaetano Federici Symposium is designed to highlight the exact people, things and events that Federici so impressively preserved. This event through the efforts of the City of Paterson Historic Preservation Commission, Passaic County Historical Society, and Passaic County Community College will take the audience on a journey through Federici’s life and art as well as a virtual tour of his commissioned public monuments.

The presentations will not only review aspects of Federici's life, but also reflect on the conservation of his piece, and their use in modern art projects and research today. Some topics covered are:
"Gaetano Federici-- 'the Paterson Master,' 36 years onward: Lost, Found, Endangered - and Wikified"
What has happened to the reputation and sculptural "legacy" of Gaetano Federici since the PCHS 'retrospective' of 1980? Flavia Alaya, co-curator of that exhibition and chief editor of its accompanying catalogue publication, "The Artist as Historian," revisits the impact of that first attempt at a comprehensive overview of his genius. What would a new "retrospective" tell us now, not just about Federici's life and work, but about his true achievement and his place in the canon of American artistic originals?

Federici Exhibit Sneak Peek
As a part of the Passaic County Historical Society’s (PCHS) mission “to showcase [Passaic County’s] cultural and artistic diversity” along with the desire to preserve objects of historical significance to the local area, the PCHS embarked on a new and exciting venture to conserve and exhibit pieces of their collection of original pieces created by Gaetano Federici. This exhibit will incorporate a variety of materials related to Federici, including original photographs, documents, sketches by Federici and several plaster plaques and statuettes, most of which are models created by the artist to master the scale and detail of his final works.

3D Scanning of Gaetano Federici Collections
This presentation will take you through the process of 3D scanning and how the project has supported the continued awareness of the Federici Collection by a local graduate of William Paterson University. Since 2008, Brian Sandilands has curated and organized alternative art and music events across the state. In 2013 he participated in the Ricardo Galleni Memorial Grant Workshop, an international residency sponsored by Autodesk, The Digital Stone Project and Garfagnana Innovazione. His first and second solo exhibitions, The 3D Printed Gun Show and Monuments to Compromise were held at William Paterson University of NJ where he received his MFA.

“Aesthetic Decisions by Gaetano Federici: A Conservation Investigation of Working Style, Methods and Materials Used by Gaetano Federici to Create His Sculptures and Maquettes”
This presentation, narrated by Gary McGown, President and Senior Conservator of Cultural Preservation & Restoration, Inc. will discuss and visually illustrate the varying surfaces, coatings and stylistic decisions recovered and identified through the conservation process of stabilizing, repairing and treating over two dozen sculptures or maquettes. Selected examples of Federici’s plaster works will be presented at this symposium.

Federici Studio Collection Website Launch
The Federici Studio Collection, housed in the historic Hamilton Club building at Passaic County Community College (PCCC) includes over 100 sculptures, which are on permanent display throughout the building. In addition, the sculptor’s studio workshop – filled with plaster sculptures, molds, plaques, tools, furniture, and other memorabilia – has been recreated in a room on the third floor. In 2001, the collection was designated an Official Project of Save America’s Treasures, a partnership between the White House Millennium Council and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, dedicated to the celebration and preservation of our nation’s threatened cultural treasures. In addition to the excitement of hosting this symposium, PCCC received a grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission to create a website that will bring together Federici’s history and artworks under one umbrella and to achieve an important goal – to link the historical sites that house Federici’s collections with the City’s outdoor sculptures. The new website, Gaetano Federici and His Paterson Legacy, will be launched at this event:

This event is sponsored by Paterson Historic Preservation Commission in partnership with the Passaic County Historical Society and Passaic County Community College. Information on this and upcoming Commission events and programs can be found at

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