Modern Art Foundry

Modern Art Foundry is a third generation family owned foundry in Astoria, Queens. It was founded by John Spring in 1932. They specialize in fine art services. 

One of their works we’re most familiar with is the Alice in Wonderland statues in Central Park. We booked this tour through Untapped Cities. Jeffrey Spring was our guide and he is the grandson of John Spring. You could see the pride he took in the business, the history of it and his employees.

We got an in depth tour of the facilities. The foundry is located in the old carriage house of the Steinway estate (Steinway pianos). The old Steinway mansion is located up the street. The Steinway family has deep history in the Astoria/Long Island City area of Queens. The Steinway factory is located a few blocks away from the foundry.

Steinway house.

Original carriage doorway.

The Foundry does a lot of things. They work with artists and sculptors, they do maintenance and conservation, and commemorative design. To read about it in depth, click here. They do maintenance and conservation for Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, the Civil War monument Soldiers.

Here’s a NY Times article written about the Foundry.

Giant oven and the door is on the right leaning against it.

This is a really cool behind the scenes tour. Hearing the passion in Jeff’s voice was refreshing since most people I know hate their jobs. You could tell he really appreciates his coworkers and some have been there longer than him. If you decide to check the foundry out, look up places to eat in Astoria. There’s a lot of different food choices, it’s not far from Manhattan and you’ll get to experience what a real New York neighborhood is. For dessert, go to Martha’s Country Bakery – the apple pie & berry napoleon are some of our favorites.


Portraits of the family.

You know you want at least one.

Here’s a video about them:

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14 thoughts on “Modern Art Foundry

  1. The University of Minnesota’s art department featured a bronze pour every year in its forge; they also had one just for women, so that female artists got a chance to do the actual pouring. I always wanted to do something in bronze, but I have a fear of getting burned by the molten metal, and the costs were too high for me. I’d love to see an actual casting in action, though, if someone else does the pouring!

    I love Martha’s! Seeing that photo of their counter makes me wish I could go there right now for coffee and a fruit tart. Astoria is a great neighborhood for strolling, not to mention eating in! I wish I could try out a different restaurant every night, but then I’d gain so much weight I’d have to buy stretch pants for the flight home. 😛 The Greek food is wonderful; I also like little mom-and-pop diners and pizza places. And you can walk to all of them from the Ditmars Boulevard station!

    1. I want to take a glass blowing class and I’m sure I will burn myself. I am so clumsy. I trip on my own two feet. I’m more graceful on a bike. They still offer this tour, check it our if you can. It will be really not in the foundry in summer. Astoria is a cute neighborhood.

    1. Ohhhh…I have to look for the the show you watched. Was excited when we found this tour, it was cool seeing where some of the art pieces in the city are made.

    1. The bakery is so good.We walked in because we were early. When we sat I said, “I recognized these pastries.” My friend use to work tehre and she once brought me some. The berry napoleon is my favorite. The foundry was really cool. It was nice seeing where some of the art pieces are made around the city. Wish I didn’t drop my other phone in the toilet – that phone had all my notes in it from several tours. So I feel like I’m missing lots of info and can’t find it online.

      1. I am sorry to hear that you dropped your phone. I can understand that you missed much more. I have a lot of information stored on my phones these days. It becomes an essential part of life for many, I believe.

    1. Very cool place to visit. I wish I didn’t drop my phone in the toilet, I lost so much info, all my notes were on it. Now I carry pen and paper. Really neat seeing were some of the sculptures around the city are made.

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