The Russell Statues
In 1878, the Auckland Museum received a gift of 22 full-sized plaster casts and 11 busts from a wealthy expatriate Aucklander, Thomas Russell. Russell had ordered the sculptures from the workshop of Domenico Brucciani of Covent Garden, London, and intended them as ‘a truly magnificent donation’ for the newly built Auckland Museum building on Princes Street.
Three of these casts – the Dying Gaul, Laocoön and Discobolus – now sit on display in between the Japanese Ceramics and Mackelvie Collection galleries, above the entrance to the Grand Foyer. They emphasise the Greek Revival architecture of the Museum and are also an acknowledgement of the historical importance of the arts of classical antiquity to European culture.
Auckland Museum acknowledges the generosity of the John Logan Campbell Residuary Estate in the initial establishment of this gallery.