Gardner Colby was born in Bowdoinham, Maine, 3 September, 1810 and died in Newton Centre, Massachusetts, 2 April, 1879. After receiving the rudiments of an English education, he entered the dry-goods business in Boston, and afterward engaged in manufacturing woolen goods. During the civil war he was a large contractor for the supply of clothing to the national army, and in 1870 became president of the Wisconsin central railroad. Mr. Colby was distinguished for his liberal contributions to benevolent institutions.
Newton theological seminary, Brown University, and the American Baptist missionary union received large sums from him. He was a member of the legislature in 1880, and became a trustee of Brown University in 1879.
Gardner’s bust before restoration
During the first half of the Twentieth Century, little value was accorded historical objects. Nevertheless, many works were kept. Gardner was there when his storage room was painted.
Gardner’s bust during restoration
Removing the paint is a delicate process; dissolving it excessively could lead to it penetrating deeply into the porous marble.
Gardner’s bust after restoration