The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

The Rescuer

g2e22e2000000000000a04ac541f979951a960ebc5e9e1b7de0501e7e1e.jpgHe may have one of the more unusual jobs around — but he’s providing an invaluable service:

Lou McClung’s past life as a handyman, and his present career as a photographer, makeup artist and manufacturer, were perfect preparation for his future as a curator of an unusual museum.


The owner of Lusso Studio and Lusso Statuary recently purchased a decommissioned church, 104-year-old St. Hedwig at 12903 Madison Ave., which will serve as the Museum of Divine Statues.

McClung said his mission to rescue religious statues, many of which come from parishes closed recently by the Cleveland Catholic Diocese, will help ensure the history of those churches.

Several statues — many more than a century old — were in great need of cleaning and repair. Stuffed in closets, storage rooms and choir lofts, some pieces fell victim to a push for modernism in the 1960s and 1970s.

“It’s interesting how all the little things you learn to do can contribute,” he said. “You wonder why you’re doing things, then it comes in handy for something like this.”


McClung, who has been footing the restoration costs out of his own pocket, taught himself how to clean and repaint the pieces, as well as craft missing fingers and arms.

“My goal as an artist is to make the statues as realistic as possible,” he said.

To find out what led him to this, continue at the link.

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Joe Appio

posted September 15, 2010 at 11:37 am

When I worked at Rambusch Lighting and Decorating at the place with the purple-brass colored door neext to The Quad 40 w 13th street, old statues, stained glass, pews and other relics from a time gone buy littered the seventh and top floor.
I used to love to go up there and look at all these gems that were cast aside and admire the craftsmanship.
Lou McClung is a historian, a preservationist and we should admire such folks.
They permit future generations to appreciation a bygone era when quality was paramount.
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Andre John

posted September 15, 2010 at 10:16 pm

this is what i like about the Catholic church, the beauty of the statues, churches… preserve the beauty of our church, great job, keep up the good works!
St. Joseph the carpenter, pray for us!
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