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One of the biggest challenges faced by the Lightner Museum is maintaining the remarkable collection. Many pieces that should be shown to the public are in storage, in need of repair. The Lightner Museum’s Adopt an Artifact Program is a unique way to get involved by contributing directly towards the restoration of an item in need by adopting an artifact.
A recent example is the restoration of Camel and Rider, a magnificent porcelain figurine from Otto Lightner’s original collection. Dating to circa 1900, it was made by Amphora Porcelain Works in Teplitz, Austria. The figurine sat in storage for over four decades due to damage around the camel’s feet and legs.
Camel and Rider was adopted by the children of a former, long-time volunteer of the Museum. Their generous gift made it possible for the figurine to be restored and displayed in their mother’s honor as part of the Downton Abbey™ Exhibition. It proudly remains on display in the Museum.
One piece of the collection currently in need of adoption is Winged Mercury. Winged Mercury, circa 1890, has been in storage for over four decades.
The base no longer uplifts Mercury, and the finish has been harmed by the weather.
The repair includes Father Wind, at the base of Winged Mercury.
With needed repairs, Winged Mercury can finally be on public display as originally intended. Lightner Museum Director, Robert Harper, envisions Winged Mercury in its former glory, adorning one of the fountains in the Museum’s garden courtyards.