John Canning & Co. Earns the 2021 Bulfinch Award in the Craftsmanship/Artisanship Category

Bulfinch Award Winner

Cheshire CT, July 2021:

John Canning & Co. earned the 2021 Bulfinch Award in the Craftsmanship/Artisanship category for the Decorative Finishes and Artwork work completed at St. Mary's Church in New Haven, CT.

The Bulfinch Awards are hosted by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art New England Chapter (ICAA New England) and recognize practitioners from across the nation who are committed to promoting excellence in the classical tradition and allied arts within New England. All eligible projects work toward building upon the legacy of Boston's early Federal architect, Charles Bulfinch, who is widely regarded to be the first native-born American to work in the field professionally. Initiated in 2010 and modeled on the ICAA’s Arthur Ross Awards, the New England Bulfinch Awards program is an annual competition.

The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the classical tradition in architecture, urbanism and their allied arts. It does so through education, publication, and advocacy. The Institute is headquartered in New York City with regional chapters across the United States. It offers a wide array of programs that are designed to promote the appreciation and practice of classical and traditional design, including classes, travel, lectures, and conferences. It publishes an academic journal called the Classicist as well as the acclaimed book series called the Classical America Series in Art and Architecture.

The Church of Saint Mary was the first Catholic Church in New Haven, and is the second oldest Roman Catholic parish in Connecticut.  The importance and recognition both regionally, nationally and internationally of Saint Mary’s, cannot be overlooked as it is the founding church of the Knights of Columbus and now home of the blessed Michael J. McGivney who is entombed there.   This 1874 James Murphy (partner of Patrick Keely) church’s impressive gothic construction and soaring vaulted ceiling inspire the awe and majesty of that which the structure was intended.

St Marys NewHaven After

The church has undergone a complete beautification effort to restore elegance and integrity to the church interior replete with Catholic symbolism and artwork. Prior to the commencement of the work, extensive investigative studies and design work were performed including a historic paint analysis and archival research.  The investigation unveiled the previous paint campaigns and confirmed the paint campaign of the greatest significance.

This project consisted of decorative painting and finishes throughout the church. The ceiling was intricately painted to simulate the blue lace of the Blessed Mother’s garments and decorated with flowers and monograms all throughout the interior to pay homage to the church’s patroness. Along with a complete decorative campaign, 17 commissioned paintings of saints and archangels were produced to fill the upper walls of the church.

The completion of the restoration of elegance and beauty to this historic sacred space in New England is an example of preserving the historic characteristics of buildings and how preservation and restoration projects are essential.

Located in Cheshire, CT., John Canning & Co., is one of the nation’s experts in historic restoration, conservation and preservation. John Canning & Co. offers services in a variety of areas including: conservation, planning, designing, historic paint analysis, plaster condition surveys, restoration, decorative finishes and painting, budgeting and consulting.  John Canning & Co. with over 45 years of experience has received numerous awards and has been entrusted to restore state capitols, courthouses, churches, libraries, museums, theatres, educational establishments and other historic buildings.  It is with great honor that we accept our Fourth Bulfinch Award. Previously, John Canning & Co., won a Bulfinch Award in 2020 for work completed at the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Connecticut, a Bulfinch Award in 2017 for work completed at Saint Patrick’s Church in Lowell, Massachusetts, and in 2013 for work completed at the Cathedral of Saint Patrick’s in Norwich, Connecticut.

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