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Dismantling The Met's Thomas Appleton Pipe Organ

The Met's Thomas Appleton pipe organ

Thomas Appleton (American, 1785–1872). Pipe organ, 1830. Wood, various materials. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Margaret M. Hess Gift, in memory of her father, John D. McCarty, 1982 (1982.59)

The André Mertens Galleries for Musical Instruments are currently closed for renovation until spring 2017. As a part of this project, the department has dismantled The Met's monumental pipe organ by Thomas Appleton for cleaning and conservation. The instrument, which I discussed in detail in a 2014 blog post, is the oldest and finest extant product of the renowned Boston craftsman Thomas Appleton (1785–1872).

The organ came to the Museum in 1983, when New York–based technician Lawrence Trupiano restored and installed the instrument. Since that time, Trupiano has been the technician responsible for care of the instrument, and he is leading the conservation efforts now taking place. 

The time-lapse video below shows the dismantling of the Appleton organ, which took place over three weeks in February of this year. The accompanying music is Louis Vierne's "Divertissement" from 24 Pièces en style libre, Op. 31, as performed on the Appleton organ by Paolo Bordignon on November 4, 2015.

Time-lapse video by Thomas Ling

Related Links
Of Note: "Temporarily Tacet: The Musical Instruments Galleries Will Return in 2017" (March 7, 2016)

Of Note: "The Met's Mighty Pipe Organ" (May 5, 2014)


Department: Musical Instruments

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