NEW BRITAIN, CONN.- The Lyman Allyn Art Museum
is providing temporary safe harbor for Congregation Beth Els granite and bronze sculpture, Menorah, while they relocate to a new building after having recently closed on the transfer of the synagogue to LEARN, the Regional Educational Service Center.
Originally commissioned in 1994 by Rena Linder to commemorate the life of her daughter, Kathryn Linder Ecochard, who succumbed to cancer, the large Menorah, approximately 61 inches wide, had stood near the entrance of Temple Beth El since its creation by the local and much celebrated sculptor, David Smalley.
Rena Linder, a past president of the congregation arranged for the relocation in consultation with the Lyman Allyn. After a number of other sites were considered, it was decided that it was a fitting addition to the McCourt 9/11 Memorial Garden where, in Linders words, it is perfectly placed and looks comfortable.
David Smalley (1940-2015) often created large-scale sculptures, made of steel, aluminum, bronze and wood, meant for outdoor display. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art at the University of Connecticut and his Master of Fine Arts at Indiana University. Smalley pioneered the use of computer technology as a tool for creating sculpture, and founded the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology at Connecticut College, where he taught sculpture and drawing for 36 years until his retirement in 2001. David Smalley had exhibited his work in galleries in New York and in museums and galleries in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan. One constant in his long career was a sense of joy in making art, that he was able to infuse his enjoyment of life into his art remains his most enduring legacy.