Friday, September 29, 2023

Vandals Damage Lynch’s Artwork 3.15.2006

By Christine Cote

VILLAS – Vandals broke into the studio of the late Gerald Lynch, a sculptor who lived here until his death in 2000, and damaged stone artwork stored there. The incident occurred over the weekend, sometime before mid-day Sunday.
While police investigate, Cheryl Crews of here, Lynch’s ex-wife and executrix of his estate, has been reaching out to stone artists and other experts to find answers to removing stains from works of marble.
She gave the Herald a tour of the scene on Monday.
A number of the damaged pieces are part Lynch’s marble “Earth Goddess” series that were the focus of the later years of his life’s work. He also worked in wood, bronze, and limestone.
Crews discovered the damage the morning of March 12 and police were called to the scene. According to Crews, the trespassers had to climb a locked fence and also broke a window to gain access to the secured building.
She said the vandalism is suspected to be the work of juveniles from the area.
At least a dozen pieces, including two drawings were sprayed with a fire extinguisher, an oil lubricant or wood glue, or were defaced with charcoal, said Crews. A few of the marble pieces were “stabbed at with metal tools leaving gauged holes,” she said.
“As I was rubbing some of the marble dust on the floor hoping it absorbs some of the oil,” said Crews, she thought about Lynch’s purpose in creating the Earth Goddess series. It was to honor Mother Earth, she said and it reflected Lynch’s concern for the environment.
She said, “I could hear him saying, ‘Are you going to let her go down the tubes or take care of her?’ If kids could do this to a sculpture, imagine what grown-ups are doing to Mother Earth.”
The fire extinguisher left residue and dust on a number of pieces and Crews said this may the most problematic to the marble, according to Jerry Kurian, a friend and art conservator in New York City.
“I have resisted touching his marble pieces for all these years so as not to transfer the oil from my fingerprints,” said Crews. Even when pieces are shown publicly, signs are displayed telling people not to touch them, she added.
A documentary film, “Gerald Lynch – Sculptor,” by Craig Rinkerman was shown at the Cape May Film Festival last year and has now been chosen for the New York Film Festival later this year, said Crews.
In November 2005, Crews donated a work in bronze to the county campus of Atlantic Cape Community College and the statue “Birth of Intuition,” is on display in the college library.
A marble sculpture of a family group is in the lobby are of the county Special Services School. 
Contact Cote at (609) 886-8600 Ext 31 or:

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