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Identifying Joseph Sibbel Statuary
For the past few years, I have received telephone calls and e-mails from individuals looking to identify the statuary in their churches. Their reasons varied. In some cases, the churches were closing and the statuary was being sold. In others, the churches were writing anniversary books and were looking for information for their text. In addition, in some cases, the churches were preparing an inventory and needed information in order to make correct attributions.
I am happy to assist anyone in identifying their statuary to the best of my ability. I've found that a common mistake made by those seeking information is the assumption that because a statue or a set of Stations of the Cross says "Sibbel Studio" it means that the statuary was created by Joseph Sibbel himself. Because the studio survived the artist by over fifty years, and because the studio used many of his representations, one cannot always make an attribution to the artist himself. Because of my exposure to a large assortment of the work done by Joseph Sibbel in his lifetime, I'm usually able to make the distinction.
This distinction, in my humble opinion, also effects the "value" of the piece of artwork. Although many would like to attach a monetary assessment to the statuary of Joseph Sibbel, I would argue that its historical, artistic, and religious values renders his work "priceless."
If you or your church are looking to identify your statuary because you suspect that it may have been done by Joseph Sibbel, please feel free to contact me at:
St. Paul Cathedral, Pittsburgh, PA