NPR: The Madonna Of 115th Street Gets A Long-Awaited Makeover

Article by Jacki Lyden

Quote, photography and production assistance: Danielle Oteri

"Art historian Danielle Oteri says the statue's first dress was a simple brown frock. "And it was covered with the jewels that had been donated, which served as sort of a de facto savings account for the church. Nobody would steal from the Madonna herself. The dress was redone in 1954."

But the porcelain statue itself had not been repaired in 131 years. It was aging, cracking, deteriorating. A church trustee's husband lovingly did those repairs himself and fashion designers Linda and Tom Platt made her new ivory silk satin gown and cape, plus an infant dress for her Baby Jesus. Normally, a client comes for fittings to the Platts' studio."

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