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People & Places Jan. 6

Learn about the Stonewall Jackson Training School

7 p.m. Jan. 7

KANNAPOLIS — Kannapolis History Associates hosts Carl Miller as he speaks on his experiences and memories of his tenure as director of Stonewall Jackson Training School from 1978-1984.
Carl will address the contributions SJTS made to juvenile justice in Cabarrus County and beyond and address the evolution of juvenile justice in North Carolina. Held in the A. L. Brown High School social room, 415 E. First St. For info and directions, contact Phil Goodman, 704-796-0803.

NC Museum of Art acquires William Wetmore Story’s Saul under the Influence of the Evil Spirit

Visitors can now view public conservation work of iconic statue  in East Building before it goes on view in 2019

Raleigh — The North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) has acquired a long-lost masterpiece of American sculpture, Saul under the Influence of the Evil Spirit by William Wetmore Story. The statue was completed in Rome in 1865 and was exhibited that same year in Dublin at the behest of Pope Pius IX. Bought by an English aristocrat for his country house in Gloucestershire, the statue disappeared for 150 years. The house later became Rendcomb College, a private boarding school, which sold the statue to the NCMA earlier this year.

The acquisition fills an important gap in the Museum’s American art collection, adding a monumental neoclassical marble figure to the collection. According to the Bible, Saul, the first king of Israel, disobeyed God and was thereafter afflicted with an evil spirit.

Raised on its original marble base, the statue projects an alarming presence. The artist once explained that he “represented [Saul] at the moment when the evil spirit is upon him, and David is called in to play to him. The action is all interior—the struggle of a half-demented soul, one hand clutching his beard and one fumbling at his dagger.”

Before Saul under the Influence of the Evil Spirit is installed in the Museum’s free permanent collection, it will undergo a thorough cleaning and repair of its right big toe. The public is invited to observe this cleaning process by NCMA objects conservator Corey Riley. The statue is now on view in Studio 4 on the entrance level of the Museum’s East Building. Through the spring of 2019, Riley will be working on the statue most weekday mornings, Tuesday through Friday from 10 am to noon. This is an opportunity for a behind-the-scenes look at what happens in the NCMA’s conservation laboratory.

Born in 1819, the artist was the preeminent American sculptor in Rome during the second half of the 19th century. The son of a U.S. Supreme Court justice and educated at Harvard, Story abandoned a brilliant law career to study sculpture in Rome. His larger-than-life sculptures of heroes and villains from biblical and classical antiquity won him an international reputation alongside artist and writer friends Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry James. His statues of Medea, Cleopatra, and the Libyan Sibyl are in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
This will be the first time the public can view a sculpture undergoing conservation at the NCMA.

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