The air was thick with dust and mold inside. On this drab, rainy day the natural light from the ceiling was grayed a bit. It was as though I’d meandered into someplace old and forgotten like you’d see in an Indiana Jones movie. My party and I were practically alone there as we wandered.
It took my breath away when I walked into the main gallery and found myself surrounded by full size castings of works I’ve only ever seen in pictures before.
Some works were stiff, noble, stoic. Other works writhed in front of me and convinced me they might gasp for breath at any moment.
All genitalia were concealed beneath a fig leaf with the exception of one sculpture. I can’t remember the name of the work. On that particular piece the genitalia had been broken off. Apparently this was a concession the museum had to make in order to be allowed in the community when it was first established.
The Slater Memorial Museum in Norwich, Connecticut is one of only a few in the United States featuring full sized plaster castings of world masterpieces from the Louvre and the Vatican and other wonderful places in the world which I haven’t had the opportunity to visit yet. The museum also has a nice collection of authentic art. The Slater Memorial Museum is part of the Norwich Free Academy, a local public high school which offers private enrollment for tuition students as well. What an incredible opportunity for young minds.
I’ve heard making plaster castings of world class sculpture of this caliber is no longer permitted.
Something I enjoyed in particular about the plaster castings is that some of the works were not chased. -The seams from the mold where the plaster had oozed into them were not cleaned away and it was fascinating to see how intricate the mold making had to be in order to capture the bends of each delicate finger and detail. Well worth a visit if you’re into art or if you’re interested in doing any casting.
Thanks to the Slater Memorial Museum for allowing me to post this image of The Satyr Plating the Scabellum (?) or “Invitation to the Dance” Cast of the original in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence – 2nd century B.C.
**Please respect the intellectual property of others. Do not repost this blog entry without my permission. The image on this blog entry is used here with written permission from the Slater Memorial Museum.
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