Rescued and Restored

When German organ builder and restorer Gerald Woehl visited a Florence, Italy antique store in 1979, he recognized the dismantled casework and pipes from a large organ. He purchased the pieces and shipped them back to his workshop in Marburg, Germany. They remained in storage there for over 20 years.

In 2001, Woehl came to Rochester as guest of the world-renowned organ department at the Eastman School of Music, like MAG a part of the University of Rochester. A visit to MAG's spacious Fountain Court inspired a unique collaboration. The Eastman School purchased the organ, and MAG agreed to house the instrument in the Fountain Court.

Woehl and a team of experts conducted four years of research and restoration in Germany to completely reassemble the organ. The instrument was then dismantled into 2,000 pieces and packed in enormous wooden crates to travel by ship to New York City and then by truck to Rochester. The crates arrived at MAG in July 2005, where Woehl and his team spent several weeks reassembling and installing the organ in its new home.

Photo courtesy the Eastman School of Music