Once upon a time in the stories of Greek mythology, there were nine beautiful sisters. Goddesses, each representing a different field of knowledge in learning and the arts — the eminent muses.
Here on our campus they stand, in front of Meliora Hall. They stand tall, proud and some headless and missing other body parts.
Is this a cruel joke? Vandalism? Test of faith?
“They were six in number, since the rest were lost at sea on the way here,” Sharon Dickman, public information coordinator, said.
“When Sibley Hall was razed and demolished in the 60s, the statues were removed and were neglected for many years in storage,” Dickman continued.
The muses originally decorated the niches in the facade of Sibley Hall, the library on the Prince Street campus.
“The statues were carved of Italian marble and the porous stone had been weakened by the many years of standing in the weather, particularly the four who faced the prevailing west winds,” Dickman said.
Also destroyed in the weather were the arms of the statues. Adjunct Associate Professor of Art and Art History Jean France said that Arch Miller, former professor of art and art history, was the person who rescued the muses installed them on the River Campus.
“The evocative way in which they are arranged is his achievement and he should be highly acclaimed for it,” Francis said.
The remnants of the statues that were once unbroken and nine in number are displayed outside Meliora Hall. They were not broken or vandalized by students. The statues were simply victim of a long boat ride endured on their way to Rochester and many years of harsh weather once they arrived.