Persephone is an outdoor sculpture by artist Armand Toussaint created c. 1840. The work sits within the center of a pool in Holcomb Gardens on the grounds of Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. The sculpture depicts the Greek goddess Persephone. In 1993 the sculpture was examined by the Save Outdoor Sculpture! program produced by the Smithsonian Institution.
|Dimensions||160 cm × 56 cm × 41 cm (63 in × 22 in × 16 in)|
|Location||Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
Persephone depicts the Greek goddess Persephone standing on a limestone base in the center of a concrete octagonal pool. The bronze female figure is draped from the waist down. Her left hand is raised and holds a lit torch of bundled twigs. An inscription on the statue base reads on the left statue base:
- AD TOUSSAINT
The right side of the base is inscribed:
- FABT DE BRONZES
The front of the base is inscribed just before a 1950 founders mark:
- IN ANCIENT GREEK MYTHOLO-
- GY, SHE, AS THE DAUGHTER
- OF ZEUS AND DEMETER, WAS
- WORSHIPPED AS THE GODDESS
- OF VEGETATION, RETURNING
- EACH SPRING FROM THE REALM
- OF HADES TO HERALD THE
- SEASON OF GROWTH, AND IN
- WINTER DISAPPEARING TO PASS
- HER TIME, LIKE THE SEED,
- UNDER THE EARTH. THE STATUE
- WAS EXECUTED IN PARIS ABOUT
- 1840 BY ARMAND TOUSSAINT,
- 1806-1862. A GIFT OF JAMES
- IRVING HOLCOMB
The piece, made in France, was created primarily crafted by sculptor Armand Toussaint and cast by Graux-Marly. Upon its placement at Holcomb Gardens, the landscapers were J.I. Holcomb and Arthur Lindberg.
The sculpture of the Greek goddess is meant to represent Persephone coming back from the underworld every spring to make the flowers and plants bloom. In Fall 2011 a mural in the Johnson Room in Robertson Hall on the Butler campus was created. The 2,120 square-foot mural depicts notable landmarks at Butler, including Persephone.
In 1962, students dressed the statue in a bra, referencing the infamous "I dreamed I... in my Maidenform bra" campaign.
- "Persephone, (sculpture)". Save Outdoor Sculpture. Smithsonian Institution. 1993. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- Caitlin O'Rourke (2011). "Stop and smell the flowers". Arts & Entertainment. The Butler Collegian. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- Marc Allan (2011). "The Johnson Room Gets a New Name And A New Look". Campus News. Butler University. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- "Humoresque," Maidenform Mirror. May-June 1962. Maidenform Collection at the Archives Center, Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Box 20.