Nike of Samothrace, (cast). Photo by Michael Page.
On the second floor in the hallway outside the Assembly Room you will encounter the famous Nike of Samothrace. Unlike the original marble statue of over 8 feet in height (now in the Louvre Museum, Paris), our plaster copy, also by Caproni Brothers, is a one-third scale model. Nonetheless, the statue still conveys the dynamism of this Goddess of Victory as she beats her large wings against the sea breezes to land on the prow of a ship. Hellenistic art was all about the drama of action—note how her body turns as she attempts to set her feet on deck and how the mist from the sea has moistened her robes as they cling to her body. Caproni’s copies were notable for their attention to these important details, even when scaled down to a smaller size.
The Nike was probably purchased at the same time as the relief casts in the Assembly Room—she can be seen in black and white photos in yearbooks up through the 1950s. After that, she disappeared. The cast you see now was purchased as part of the renovation of Coburn Hall in 2018 from the studio in Waltham, MA, Skylight Studios, that still owns the original Caproni molds.
Detail of hip and drapery. Photo by Michael Page.
Detail of Wing