Day 494

Clason Point World War I Memorial

May 7th, 2013

In the 1920s, James Novelli "was much in demand as a sculptor of funeral and public monuments"; among other works, he created three war memorials in the city during that decade. With the onset of the Great Depression, however, his "career languished, and after growing increasingly despondent, Novelli took his own life in 1940."

Sadly, as we've seen, his artwork hasn't fared much better over the years. The Winfield War Memorial (a.k.a. Victorious America) has been repeatedly damaged by automobiles, getting decapitated in 1989 and dragged onto the BQE in 2001. And the Saratoga Park War Memorial had its bronze scrolls stolen in 1970, which proved to be just a prelude for the theft, three decades later, of its half-ton centerpiece, a statue that was later found cut up into hundreds of pieces.

There has, thankfully, been one exception to this trend of drama and disfigurement: Novelli's 1928 Clason Point World War I Memorial, above. 85 uneventful years and counting!

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