P A R K E R a n d P A R K E R A R T
Metropolitan Museum Historic Plaster Casts
The collection and exhibition of plaster casts was considered an integral component of museums in the second half of the 19th Century. Prominently displayed, they offered access to the full range of three-dimensional Western European art, from architecture to sculpture to the decorative arts. No stigma was attached to reproductions.
In 1883, Met formed a committee to determine what plasters to seek from other museums to illustrate the entire history of art. The committee, which was active until 1895, included Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Louis Comfort Tiffany and Stanford White.
In many cases, casts were made for the first time; for example, new molds were taken of famous, priceless Greek works in Athens
These casts remained on view until the early 1950’s at which time some were moved to storage, given to art schools, and transferred to other museums.
On February 28, 2006, Sotheby’s auctioned the final pieces the Met had retained for itself. PaPA bought 23 of these plasters for its collection to share with the public.