Sleeping Ariadne

Discobulus

Bust of Juno

Plaster Cast Collection

Scroll to browse highlights on view in the ICAA Cast Hall, including pieces deaccessioned from The Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as the Dick Reid Teaching Collection.

In 2004, the Metropolitan Museum of Art deaccessioned a historic collection of 120 plaster casts. The Metropolitan Museum of Art identified the ICAA as an appropriate steward of this significant collection due to the organization’s ongoing efforts to perpetuate the classical tradition in architecture and the related arts. The collection of plaster casts represents rare, high artistry in the craft of mold making and casting, and is an invaluable part of an education in traditional architecture and the allied arts. The ICAA uses the cast collection as a visual teaching aid, enabling students to view and draw from the finest examples of classical elements from masterpieces abroad. Read a brief history of the plaster cast collection.

Dick Reid is one of the world’s leading architectural artisans and restored numerous Medieval, Renaissance, and Enlightenment-era buildings in and outside of London, including the Somerset House, Windsor Castle, and the Spencer House. In 2005, Mr. Reid retired and donated the items in his shop, some of which are also visible on this page, to be used as a visual teaching aid for the ICAA.

The Plaster Cast Hall is possible thanks to the generous support of Flower Construction, Foster Reeve & Associates, and Seth Weine.

The ICAA would like to thank the following Cast Hall donors for their transformational support:

Alexa Hampton, in memory of Mark Hampton

Mackin Architects, PLLC

Peter Pennoyer Architects


Visiting the Collection

Highlights of the plaster cast collection are on view in the ICAA’s Cast Hall by appointment. School groups are encouraged to visit. Please email [email protected] or call 212-730-9646 × 115 to arrange a visit. 

Admission to view the collection is free. Please consider making a donation to support the collection and the ICAA's educational initiatives.

Discobolus
Greek

This piece is a Roman copy of a Greek statue by Myron from about 450 B.C. In the original the head is turned toward the hand which holds the disk (cf. No. 561). The Roman version was found in Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli and is now in the British Museum.

Provenance

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dimensions

69 x 45 x 18 in. (HWD)

Location:

20 West 44th Street, New York, NY

Diadoumenos
Greek

This is a full-scale 19th Century plaster cast from a Roman copy of the Greek bronze original by Polykleitos. Diadoumenos is a youth binding his head with a fillet, which was a sign of victory in the games. The curved upper body and poised feet imbue the youth’s form with vitality and movement. Found at Vaison, France, the original is now in the British Museum.

Provenance

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dimensions

75 x 39 x 23 in. (HWD)

Location:

20 West 44th Street, New York, NY

Crouching Aphrodite
Greek

This is a cast of the Crouching Aphrodite (Venus de Vienne). It is a 19th Century plaster cast of a Roman copy of a statue by Daidalos of Bithynia, of the third century B.C. Aphrodite’s nude physique and voluptuous figure characterize her as the Greek goddess of love. First at Vienne, France, the original is presently at the Louvre Museum.

Provenance

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dimensions

43 x 20 x 27 in (HWD)

Location:

20 West 44th Street, New York, NY

Sleeping Ariadne
Greek

According to Greek mythology, Ariadne was a princess of the kingdom of Crete. Ariadne fell in love with Theseus and helped him kill the Minotaur and escape the deadly labyrinth. Theseus was supposed to marry Ariadne and return with her to Athens, however, mid-voyage he abandoned her while she slept on the island of Naxos. The cast is copied from a statue, now housed in the Vatican, which is a Roman copy of a 2nd century B.C.E. piece from the Greek School of Pergamon produced during the Hellenistic period. As with many other Roman marbles inspired by Greek bronzes, there are several versions of the Sleeping Ariadne known. Where this half of the plaster cast once fit into the lower half is visible in the proper right lower portion of the figure. In the early 20th century, this cast was displayed at The Metropolitan Museum next to another version of the Sleeping Ariadne, which is now in the Prado Museum (Madrid, Spain). This demonstrates the period’s curatorial interest in teaching visitors to examine and analyze the differences between multiple iterations of a model in order to understand the lost Greek original, a practice known in German as Kopienkritik. The entire surface of this cast has been painted white. This cast was purchased in 1892 by The Metropolitan Museum of Art from the Musée du Louvre Casting Atelier.

Provenance

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dimensions

44 x 41 x 28 in. (HWD)

Location:

20 West 44th Street, New York, NY

Corinthian Capital
Greek

Provenance

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dimensions

23 x 18 x 18 in. (HWD)

Location:

20 West 44th Street, New York, NY

Fragment of a candelabra
Greek

This fragment was once the top tier of a plaster cast of a candelabrum. From historical photos the base appears to have been ornamented with ram's heads and reliefs of mythological figures. The original from which this plaster cast was made has not yet been identified, but it was likely of marble and made during the Roman period.

Provenance

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dimensions

19 x 22 x 22 in. (HWD)

Location:

20 West 44th Street, New York, NY

Ionic capital with Alpha and Omega symbols 
Greek

Provenance

Dick Reid Teaching Collection

Dimensions

14 x 12 x 5 in. (HWD)

Location:

20 West 44th Street, New York, NY

Volute scroll
Greek

This plaster cast of an ornamented bracket is related to several other examples formerly owned by the 19th-century plaster caster Oronzio Lelli who worked in Florence. The original is therefore likely Italian and dated to the 15th or 16th centuries.

Provenance

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dimensions

20 1/2 x 11 x 11 in. (HWD)

Location:

20 West 44th Street, New York, NY

Entablature of the Porch of the Maidens, Erechtheion
Greek

This cast replicates the Entablature from the Porch of the Maidens of the Erechtheion. The Erechtheion was constructed from 421 to 406 BC on the Acropolis of Athens. As one of the most decorative temples in Greek Architecture, it was built to replace the Temple of Athena, Nike. The name of the temple comes from its dedication to the Greek hero Ericthonius, or perhaps King Erectheus. On major feature of the Erechtheion is the porch of caryatids, often called the “Porch of the Maidens,” where six female figures are sculpted as supporting columns. The temple has two porches - a porch with caryatids and a porch with ionic columns.

Provenance

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dimensions

41 x 70 x 11 1/2 in. (HWD)

Location:

20 West 44th Street, New York, NY

Pilaster capital
Greek

Erechtheion corner detail

Provenance

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dimensions

20 x 27 1/2 x 10 in. (HWD)

Location:

20 West 44th Street, New York, NY

A damaged pilaster capital
Greek

Source unknown.

Dimensions

23 x 23 1/2 x 12 in. (HWD)

Location:

20 West 44th Street, New York, NY

Erectheion coffer
Greek

This cast replicates a coffer from the Erechtheion. Coffers, sunken panels usually seen in a series, were used for the decoration of ceilings and vaults. The earliest examples are stone coffers from ancient Greece and Rome. The Erechtheion was constructed from 421 to 406 BC on the Acropolis of Athens. As one of the most decorative temples in Greek Architecture, it was built to replace the Temple of Athena, Nike. The name of the temple comes from its dedication to the Greek hero Ericthonius, or perhaps King Erectheus. On major feature of the Erechtheion is the porch of caryatids, often called the “Porch of the Maidens,” where six female figures are sculpted as supporting columns. The temple has two porches - a porch with caryatids and a porch with ionic columns.

Provenance

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dimensions

37 x 24 x 3 in. (HWD)

Location:

20 West 44th Street, New York, NY

Volute scroll detail
Greek

Ionic capital fragment, source unknown.

Dimensions

10 x 10 1/2 x 10 1/2 in. (HWD)

Location:

20 West 44th Street, New York, NY

Erechtheion: Base
Greek

The Erechtheion was constructed from 421 to 406 BC on the Acropolis of Athens. As one of the most decorative temples in Greek Architecture, it was built to replace the Temple of Athena, Nike. The name of the temple comes from its dedication to the Greek hero Ericthonius, or perhaps King Erectheus. On major feature of the Erechtheion is the porch of caryatids, often called the “Porch of the Maidens,” where six female figures are sculpted as supporting columns. The temple has two porches - a porch with caryatids and a porch with ionic columns. This cast replicates a base from the columns of the Erechtheion.

Provenance

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dimensions

24 x 40 1/2 x 10 in. (HWD)

Location:

20 West 44th Street, New York, NY

Lion head water spout from Temple of Zeus at Olympia
Greek

This plaster cast was made from an architectural fragment in marble discovered at the Temple of Zeus at Olympia. While we often think of plaster casts as mechanical reproductions, on the nose of the lion is an inscription in pencil that reveals the hand of its maker. It reads: "Berlin October 21, 1895." This cast was purchased by The Metropolitan Museum of Art from Formerei der königliche Museen (Berlin) in 1895.

Provenance

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dimensions

20 x 24 x 6 3/4 in. (HWD)

Location:

20 West 44th Street, New York, NY

Votive relief panel with men fighting bull
Greek

Plaster cast of an original marble found in Naxos, Greece. The marble relief is dated to the 1st century A.D. and is now in the British Museum. The cast was made by The British Museum Casting Service and was purchased by The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Provenance

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dimensions

19 x 30 x 3 in. (HWD)

Location:

20 West 44th Street, New York, NY

Head of a Goddess
Greek

This plaster cast head of a goddess is most likely a copy of a fragment of a full-length sculpture dating from the Ancient Greek period. The origin of the original work is unclear. The cast has been thoroughly cleaned.

Provenance

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dimensions

20 x 14 x 15 in. (HWD)

Location:

20 West 44th Street, New York, NY

Block X Of The North Frieze Of The Parthenon
Greek

The original marble is in the Acropolis Museum in Athens.

Provenance

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Location:

20 West 44th Street

Nike Adjusting Her Sandals
Greek

This plaster cast was made from a slab of the parapet surrounding the Temple of Athena on the Acropolis in Athens. It depicts the goddess of Victory, Nike, untying her sandal, preparing herself to walk on the sacred ground of the Temple. The original relief, carved in marble, is dated circa 410 - 405 BCE. The original sculpture was constructed from white pentelic marble. The Temble of Athena Nike is a terastyle, or four column Ionic temple. The columns are noted as particularly slender and elegant, as the columns are constructed in a 7:1 ratio, instead of the typical 9:1 or 10:1 ratios typically seen in ionic temples. It has a colonnaded portico at the front and rear facades that was designed by the architect Kallikrates. It was built on top of the remains of an earlier 6th century temple to Athena which had been destroyed by the Persians in 480 BCE. The goddess is depicted in the "wet drapery" style, a method in classical sculpture where the clothing of the figure clings to the body to emphasize its form, and is characteristic both of Classical and Hellenistic sculpture but also of depictions of Athena Nike (particularly seen in the Musée Louvre's Nike of Samothrace).

Provenance

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dimensions

37 x 22 x 2 in.

Location:

20 West 44th Street

Block Xv Of The North Frieze Of The Parthenon
Greek

The original marble is in the British Museum.

Provenance

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Location:

20 West 44th Street

Seated Ares- Block IV Of The East Frieze Of The Parthenon
Greek

This cast is part of a larger block from the east frieze that depicts four standing male figures and four olympian gods seated on stools. The standing figures do not appear to be part of the procession, but arrive as mediators between the gods and mortals. The four gods, noted for their larger scale, are described in relaxed positions. First is Hermes beside Dionysus, the goddess Demeter, and lastly Ares – who is recognized by his momentary posture as he leans back holding his knee with both arms. Beside his foot that points to the floor there would have been a painted spear.

Provenance

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Location:

20 West 44th Street