OHA Receives Conservation Treatment Funding for Marble Bust

Onondaga Historical Association has received funding from the Greater Hudson Heritage Network (GHHN) and the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) to conserve a marble bust of Percy McCarthy Emory. The conservation treatment will be conducted by Kasia Maroney, an art objects conservator located in Trumansburg, New York. 

Onondaga Historical Association was one of 28 art, cultural, and history organizations selected by the GHHN review panelists to receive the conservation treatment funding in New York State during the 2023 funding cycle, and was one of only two recipients in Onondaga County.

The Association’s marble bust depicts the visage of Mrs. Percy McCarthy Emory (1844-1907). Percy was the daughter of Dennis McCarthy, owner of D. McCarthy, Sons & Co., a 19th century department store located in downtown Syracuse. She later married Thomas Emory, a prominent physician. Percy was very active in women’s welfare in Syracuse and Onondaga County. She co-founded the Kanatenah Club, the first women’s club in Syracuse, in 1896. The club’s name is loosely translated as “Leading Women of the Town” and its purpose was to promote social and mutual benefits of women. Percy was the first club president and remained president until 1903. Club members supported hospital auxiliaries, the American Red Cross, and projects for underprivileged children. Percy also was a member of the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union of Syracuse and the Ladies Employment Society. These public welfare organizations sponsored a children’s nursery, free kindergarten, industrial classes, and assistance for poor, elderly, and widowed women. Percy also financially supported and was involved with Saint Joseph’s Hospital and the House of Providence orphanage. During the Spanish-American War, Percy welcomed and cared for sick and wounded soldiers at her summer home in Cazenovia, New York. Percy also owned Remarques Publishing Company in Syracuse in the 1890s. The company published Remarques Magazine, “The Only Illustrated Journal in Central New York which teaches everybody.”

Eminent American sculptor Randolph Rogers created the bust of Percy McCarthy Emory between 1875 and 1880. Randolph’s prolific artwork is found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Gettysburg National Cemetery, and the United States Capitol. Famous subjects include Abraham Lincoln and William Seward. 

Art objects conservator Kasia Maroney is the proprietor of Kasia Maroney Conservation, LLC, in Trumansburg, New York. She has conserved art objects throughout the state for more than 20 years. Her clients include the Everson Museum of Art, the Seward House Museum, the Rochester Museum & Science Center, Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, as well as Binghamton, Cornell, and Syracuse Universities.

For additional information about this conservation treatment project, please contact OHA Curator of Collections Tom Hunter at (315) 428-1864 x320 or thomas.hunter@cnyhistory.org.