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American Artisans At Work Preserving History

Historic J.P. Morgan Torchieres Restored and Installed at the Wadsworth Atheneum

Founded in 1842 by Daniel Wadsworth, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is one of the oldest public art museums in the United States. Construction began in 1842 on the site of the family home of Daniel Wadsworth in downtown Hartford, Connecticut. The museum houses nearly 50,000 works of art from the spanning from around the world from the last 5,000 years. The Wadsworth Antheneum incorporates five different buildings with varying architectural styles, and all the buildings have recently undergone a renovation.

Grand Light previously restored five original luminaires prior to restoring two E.F. Caldwell custom bronze torchieres originally commissioned for the J.P Morgan Library, New York, NY (1905) and gifted to the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum in 1910. This work will include cleaning and restoration of the existing gilded gold bronze finish, marble surfaces, application of a protective top coat, rewiring with UL listed components and HIPOT tested in accordance with UL standard 1598.



One of two historic E.F. Caldwell torchiere in the original location at the Wadsworth Atheneum prior to being disassembled and transported to Grand Light.


Each component was inspected and cataloged upon arrival at the Grand Light lighting restoration facility prior to any restoration work preformed.



Each component is cleaned with a proprietary cleaning solution before existing lacquer is removed.



The decorative surface of the base of each torchiere was cleaned, touched up, and blended with gilded gold bronze finish by Grand Light artisans to guarantee a uniformed look and finish. An application of a protective top coat was applied to the surfaces of both fixtures.


Grand Light technicians wired the entire torchiere with UL listed components and HIPOT tested in accordance with UL standard 1598.


The restored historic torchieres were assembled side by side to check for finish consistency between the two fixtures and test all electrical components. The fixtures are then dis-assembled and packed for transportation back to the Wadsworth Atheneum.


An installed torchiere during the completion ceremony of the Morgan Memorial renovation at the Wadsworth Antheneum, which Grand Light had the distinguished honor of attending.

In addition to restoring historic luminaires, Grand Light fabricated replications of a historic wall sconce based on a 1910 photograph. The replication process included the fabrication of custom mold castings for each component and an application of patina to closely match original luminaire finish. The original 1910 photograph was used to scrupulously design the details and dimensions to match the original fixture.

Grand Light specializes in the restoration of historical luminaires of every scale, material, finish, and design. From professional diagrams and plans for your project to rewiring fixtures to UL standards, our specialists have proven their reputation as exceptional lighting restorers.

For more information regarding the original lighting restoration project, you may review the project homepage at Wadsworth Atheneum.

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