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School News: Vintage statue of Mary restored at The Summit Country Day School

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Just in time for Christmas, a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary at The Summit Country Day School has been restored to its original beauty thanks to campus chaplain, Reverend Phil Seher. 

Believed to be dated perhaps from the late 1800s or early 1900s, the statue had become worn over time; faded and chipped paint rendered some elements of the design unrecognizable. As its condition deteriorated, the statue was moved to hallways and then closets where it was hidden from view. 

Father Seher discovered the sculpture recently and felt strongly that it was worth saving and restoring. Having seen artist Scott Fritz’s work at St. William Church in Cincinnati, Father Seher knew Fritz had to be the one to bring the statue back to life. Fritz specializes in Catholic restoration projects. 

It was an incredibly delicate task to safely restore the form while maintaining the integrity of the original work. Fritz gently stripped the paint from every crevice down to the bare wood. Coating the statue in primer, he layered fresh paint, selected from an inspiration piece of artwork depicting Mary in bright robes. The finishing touches were added to Mary’s facial features, completing the restoration.  

The beautiful Mary now stands proudly in the Upper School office. Upper School Director Kelly Cronin said faculty, staff and students have had such positive reactions to seeing Mary’s likeness looking brand new.  

“Many have pointed out that they didn’t recognize the snake under her right foot until the restoration process was complete,” said Cronin.  

Scott Fritz Wall Creations is located at 4203 N Bend Rd in Cincinnati, Ohio 45211. 

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