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Pandora

Chauncey Bradley Ives

American Art

On View: Special Exhibition Gallery, 5th Floor
In Greek mythology, Pandora, the first woman created by the gods, opened a box that released all the evils of humanity into the world. This sculpture depicts the moment just before Pandora gives in to temptation, and shows her hand raised and about to open the box.

Many sculptors in the second half of the nineteenth century depicted idealized female subjects taken from mythology and literature. Here, the female form of Pandora represents pure beauty. At the same time, however, depicting Pandora in the process of opening the box of her own accord suggested the growing independence of women in this period.
MEDIUM Marble
  • Place Made: United States
  • DATES 1871
    DIMENSIONS statue: 58 x 17 x 16 3/4 in., 364 lb. (147.3 x 43.2 x 42.5 cm, 165.11kg) pedestal (height): 31 3/8 in. (79.7 cm) pedestal and statue: 483 lb. (219.09kg)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Incised on edge of base at proper left: "C. B. IVES / FECIT / ROMÆ 1871"
    COLLECTIONS American Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Special Exhibition Gallery, 5th Floor
    EXHIBITIONS
    ACCESSION NUMBER 06.146
    CREDIT LINE Bequest of Caroline H. Polhemus
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Chauncey Bradley Ives (American, 1812-1894). Pandora, 1871. Marble, statue: 58 x 17 x 16 3/4 in., 364 lb. (147.3 x 43.2 x 42.5 cm, 165.11kg). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Caroline H. Polhemus, 06.146. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 06.146_cropped_glass_bw.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 06.146_cropped_glass_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Figure of idealized nude female standing in contrapposto pose and looking down at octagonal jar she holds in her proper left hand, proper right hand raised near jar, cloth held over left arm drapes around left side of body and falls to floor, figure stands on round plinth. Condition: Good, missing pinky and ring finger of proper right hand, few pock marks overall.
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