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Cast Collection of the Maryland Institute College of Art

(Cast Collection of the Maryland Institute College of Art)

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Category : Archaeology, Art, Artist's cast
Civilizations : Greece, Roman time, Renaissance, Modern time
Access : Casts displayed in the courtyard and mezzanine of the Institute’s Main Building are open to the public when the college is open.
Description : Like almost all 19th century American art academies, the Maryland Institute (founded in 1826) collected plaster casts of Classical and European early modern sculptures, for the training of students. However, this collection was destroyed when the Institute buildings were gutted in the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904. When the Institute reopened, in the Italianate marble Main Building on Mount Royal Avenue in Baltimore, the destroyed sculptures were replaced with a loan of twenty-five casts from the nearby Peabody Institute. Other casts were loaned later, and the Institute purchased additional examples. As classical training in the arts fell out of favor in the mid-twentieth century, however, many casts were destroyed. Today, seventeen freestanding pieces remain: visitors to the Institute can view full-sized plaster casts of the Hermes of Olympia, Uffizi Wrestlers, the “River God” and “Dionysus” from the Parthenon pediments, a caryatid from the Porch of the Maidens (cast, like the Parthenon pieces, from the British Museum collections), Venus de Milo and Diana of Versailles (both from the plaster studios of the Louvre), Aeschines, Demosthenes, Athena Giustiniani, Hermes Farnese, Diana of Gabii, Mercury of Giambologna, and Hebe of Canova. Casts of the Germanicus, Discobolus and Leaning Satyr are in college studios and usually not on display. There is also a plaster sculptor’s model of Ephraim Keyser’s Psyche on view in the Main Building courtyard, and a full-sized cast of the Florence Cathedral’s famous cantoria panels by Lucca della Robbia in the college admissions office. A majority of the casts are now owned by the Maryland State Archives and are on loan to the Maryland Institute.
Creating year : 1904
Restoration year : 2008
Cast Number : 17
Bibliography : Basile, J.J., “Facsimile and Originality: Changing Views of Classical Casts in Arts Education and Art History” in The International Journal of Arts in Society: Annual Review, Vol. 8, 2014, pp. 11-30; Frost, D.L., Making History/Making Art: MICA, Baltimore, 2010; Schaaf, E., “Baltimore’s Peabody Art Gallery” in Archives of American Art Journal, Vol. 24, No. 4, 1984, pp. 9-14.
Cast Collection of the Maryland Institute College of Art
Maryland Institute College of Art
1300 West Mount Royal Avenue
United State of America - North america
Status : University collection

Phone : 410-669-9200
Gerald Ross, Director of Exhibitions Gerald Ross
Joseph J. Basile