Slater Memorial Museum
Slater Memorial Museum, Norwich, Connecticut
William Albert Slater built the Slater Memorial Museum as a memorial to his father John Fox Slater.
William attended Norwich Free Academy (a privately endowed secondary school) in Norwich. Connecticut, and so offered to build a building on the NFA campus. The art museum was built in the Romanesque Revival style and was designed by Stephen C. Earle.
In 1888, Robert Porter Keep, the principal at the time, convinced Slater to also fund plaster castings of Renaissance and classical sculptures.
At that time, it was allowable to make plaster casts of the great world sculptures. Giovanni Lugini was hired to assemble the pieces of the cast replicas.
Slater Memorial Museum and Norwich Free Academy Information
The Slater Memorial Museum is located on the campus of Norwich Free Academy.
- Slater Memorial Museum
Information on exhibits, directions, hours and parking. They should be able to provide information on entrance fees. We went in December 2011 and the senior and/or student admisson was $2.00. General admission was $3.00.
The Building Is An Incredible Example Of Romanesque architectureClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Grand Tour Experience
A New Exhibit in the Newly Renovated Museum
One of the first exhibits, is of the Grand Tour the Slater's took around the world on their yacht, "The Eleanor".
This was a one year trip in 1894/5. On this trip they collected many artifacts and took many photographs, which are on exhibit in this exhibit entitled "The Grand Tour Experience"
Many of these items are shown in the Grand Tour Experience Photo Collection below.
Photos Of The Grand Tour ExhibitClick thumbnail to view full-size
Plaster Casts Of Classical And Renaissance Sculpture - There Are 227 Plaster Casts In The Slater Memorial Museum
There is a grand hall dedicated to these plaster casts of the original sculptures. If you never had a chance to see the originals, seeing these is next best thing. You can view Venus de Milo, Aphrodite, and David among others. The casts are incredibly detailed.
In keeping with the tradition of this period, Giovannia Lugini, who assembled the castings, added fig leaves to cover certain statue parts.
For or Against Fig Leaves
In order to maintain propriety at the time the sculptures were cast, a fig leaf was added to cover certain body parts -- or naughty bits, as the British would say. The originals do not have fig leaves.
Do you thing the fig leaves should have been added?
Casting of Michelangelo's La Pieta
A Beautiful Collection of Asian Art and Artifacts
The Gallery of African Life
Slater Memorial Museum in on the Campus of Norwich Free Academy
Norwich Free Academy is the local high school in Norwich. This museum is on its campus
I have never heard of a high school having a museum of this caliber; have you?
A whole gallery is dedicated to Charles Denison Crocker (1822-1907). I had never heard of him before this, but his paintings were numerous and absolutely beautiful. There were many portraits and landscapes.
The little girl in the portrait above is Kate Corbin Rallion.
A View of Norwich Harbor by Charles Denison Crocker
For more art exhibits in Connecticut
- Connecticut Art Trail
The Connecticut Art Trail is a nationally recognized partnership between twenty-one world-class museums and historic sites, created to promote Connecticut’s rich cultural assets as part of a travel experience.
I hope I have piqued your curiosity
There is also a gallery of changing exhibits. Go to the Slater Memorial Museum website for listings of special and current exhibits.
I think this museum is interesting enough even for the non-art lover. There are so many different things to look at you are bound to find something that pleases you.
What do you think?
© 2011 Ellen Gregory