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 placed an order with the workshop of Domenico Brucciani of Covent Garden, London, intended as ‘a truly magnificent donation’ for the newly built Auckland Museum building on Princes Street.
Three of these restored 19th century plaster casts of classical Greek sculptures (the Dying Gaul’, Laocoön’ and ‘Discobolus)’ now sit on display in between the Japanese Ceramics and Mackelvie Collection, galleries and above the entrance to the Grand Foyer. They emphasise the Greek Revival architecture of the Museum building and are also an acknowledgement of the historical importance of the arts and learning of classical antiquity to our imported European culture.
Auckland Museum acknowledges the generosity of the John Logan Campbell Residuary Estate in the initial establishment of this Gallery.