About Jonathan Appell

Gravestone Conservator - Monumental Mason

Jonathan Appell is a historic stone conservator and founder of New England Cemetery Services, who resides in West Hartford, CT. After graduating from Greenwich High School in 1979, he attended The Kenneth Warren & Sons Violin Making School in Chicago, Ill. He then worked in many facets of construction, including cabinet making, masonry and tile work.

In 1986 he embarked on a career shift and became involved in the monumental trades. In 1987 he founded the New England Cemetery Service. As the owner operator he installed, reset and restored monuments throughout Connecticut. As his experience grew, be began to get inquires on the conservation of older gravestones. It quickly became apparent that modem techniques are not appropriate on the older, more fragile stones.

He then embarked on a mission to acquire knowledge from all avenues available. He attended classes in the use of John's mortars at the Cathedral Stone Co. in Washington D.C., and attended The Sculpture Conservation workshop as part of the Association of Preservation and Technology Conference in Philadelphia. He then attended sculpture classes at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts. He also attended the Brownstone Symposium in Providence, RI. and the (PTN), Preservation Trades Network Workshops in Harrisburg PA. He has been trained by Polytech Co. on mold making techniques. At a recent Association of Gravestone Studies Conference Workshop in Newton MA, he was one of the instructors.
During the year 2002 he attended the Lime Mortars Conference in Lynchburg, Virginia. In addition he attended the Restoration and Renovation Conference in Boston, MA.

In the current year of 2003, he has been very active with conservation projects, but has still made time to continue with many educational opportunities. They have included enrolling in:

  •    The Chicora Foundations workshop on Cemetery Preservation in Washington, DC.
  •    APTI Conference, Portland, Maine - attended Masonry and Mortar Technology Training
  •    IPTW 2003, Maryland
  • "Dead Spaces" Preservation of the American Cemetery at the University of Pennsylvania, November 2003.

He has done continual in-depth research on the topics of gravestones, sculpture, conservation and art history. He owns a large library and is most proud of his grand collection of books related to gravestones. Feeling that education is continuing and endless, he travels to many countries to learn from master masons and conservators while maintaining membership in many professional organizations and associations.

Professional Associations and Affiliations