Diana of the Tower
On View: American Identities: A New Look, Making Art: Centennial Era, 5th Floor
Diana of the Tower is a variation of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's famous weathervane of the Roman goddess of the hunt that stood atop the Madison Square Garden Tower in New York City from 1894 until the Garden was demolished in 1925. Despite the weathervane's placement high above the city, the figure's nudity disturbed some viewers. Reporters fueled debates about the sculpture's propriety. "Occasionally a stray child may still be seen [in the area of Madison Square Park]," one wrote, "but more generally, what children come there are rushed through at breakneak speed in the two of a nurse of some older person. In their place the Square is now thronged with clubmen, armed with filed glasses." Nevertheless, Diana's popularity was great enough to inspire the sculptor to create several editions of reduced versions such as this one, the sales and exhibitions of which established Diana as on of the best-known American sculptures of the period.
40 7/8 x 20 7/8 x 15 3/4 in. (103.8 x 53 x 40 cm) (show scale)
Incised on back edge of base: "© AUGUSTUS SAINT-GAUDENS 1895 [date in circle]"
Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund
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Augustus Saint-Gaudens (American, 1848-1907). Diana of the Tower, 1895. Gilded Bronze, 40 7/8 x 20 7/8 x 15 3/4 in. (103.8 x 53 x 40 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 23.255. Creative Commons-BY
overall, 23.255_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Figure of idealized nude female in act of shooting an arrow; stands on tiptoe of proper left foot with right leg outstretched behind her and head looking left; holds bow in proper left hand and pulls string (made of twisted wire) with right hand, arrow has been lost; base is hemisphere atop square plinth.
Condition: Good; allover losses to gilding.
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