John Brewster Bust Restored, Unveiled

At a special ceremony attended by school trustees, faculty, and members of the Class of 2017, Brewster Academy unveiled the recently restored bust of John Brewster, the school’s namesake.

The sculpture had been a memorial gift to John Brewster’s son, William, by renowned sculptor Daniel Chester French, William’s childhood friend. French is the designer and sculptor of the marble statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., as well as the Minute Man statue at the Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts, and numerous other public monuments throughout the country.

After being on display for decades, the bust was tucked away during a period of construction for safekeeping. When the bust was brought out of storage, it was in need of restoration, and alumnus Candace Crawshaw ’64 generously donated the funding for the restoration.

Barbara Moore, retired object curator from Yale University’s Peabody Museum, offered an initial assessment of the condition of the bust. The restoration occurred on campus in 2016 by Barbara Magnum, lead conservator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts Conservation Services in Somerville, Massachusetts. Magnum’s work and presence allowed students and staff to watch the progress and learn about the restoration process.

Upon his death in 1886, John Brewster bequeathed a sizable endowment to what at the time was Wolfeboro-Tuftonborough Academy and the school was renamed in honor of Brewster.

Brewster Academy’s archives provide irreplaceable evidence of the school’s evolution over a century and counting. Antiquities and memorabilia from generations have accumulated and gathered since its founding in 1820 as Wolfeborough-Tuftonborough Academy. The bust restoration is part of a long-term commitment by the Academy to bring its history to life in a timeline that will illustrate the Brewster story along the main corridor of the school’s iconic Academic building and in other locations, most recently in the newly refurbished Alumni and Development Office in Cate House.

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