Statues personify Candler Library upgrades

By Leslie King | Emory Report | Aug. 15, 2013

Candler Library statue
Candler Library statue
Candler Library statue
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Level three of Candler Library recently reopened with seven Greek statues now presiding over the silent study area and other improvements. Emory Photo/Video.

Seven Greek statues now preside over the silent study area in the third floor of the Candler Library building. Among the works are a charioteer holding reins; a woman without a head but whose toes peek through her chic wrap; two alleged king slayers; and a woman astride what looks like a horse-fish.  Four architectural models of places in ancient Greece — Delphi, Olympia, the Acropolis in ruins and the Acropolis in its heyday — are also installed. All crown the 10-year anniversary of the renovation of the Candler Library.

The Michael C. Carlos Museum pulled the statues and the models out of storage to be installed in the foyer and around the Matheson Reading Room for teaching as well as exhibition purposes. The statues are copies of ones in museums scattered throughout Europe, says Todd Lamkin, director of collection services for the Carlos Museum, cast from an era when travel and time were too dear to go and see the originals. The works are on long-term loan from New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The highly-detailed models of Olympia and Delphi are fashioned from paper and sponges. Cast in plaster, the replica statues are very delicate, compared to the bronze and marble of the originals, says Renee Stein, Carlos conservator, who incorporates their care into student internship experiences.

These works boost the other improvements to the space — which reopened to the public on Aug. 12 — including new LED lighting; a fresh coat of paint on the ceiling in the Matheson Reading Room; refinished tabletops; waxed floor; cleaned carpeting; and cleaned and conditioned seating and wood shelving.