Title: [right] Cicero, plaster cast, ca. 1840
After antique marble, ca. 40-30 BC
Uffizi Gallery, Florence
Title: [left] Bust of a Man (possibly Lysimachus, Aratus, or Demosthenes), plaster cast, ca. 1840
After antique marble, ca. 100-80 BC
Naples National Archaeological Museum
For decades, two stained and forlorn classical plaster casts were hidden in a dark corner of the Art Room (pictured above before restoration). Perched on top of the bookcases, they were barely noticeable among the historic oil paintings and decorative folios. As part of the Curating Curiosities senior seminar class with Tripp Evans, a Wheaton College student was tasked with researching these two mysterious busts. The students scoured the collections for clues about the identity and provenance of the statuary, and an old scrapbook in the Archives revealed that they might be connected to one of the Athenæum’s earliest art donations.