Bacchante and Infant Faun Reproduction
Boston Public Library – Boston, MA
Well-known sculptor Frederick William MacMonnies created this life-size sculpture in the late 19th century and gave it as a gift to the acclaimed architect Charles Follen McKim who had helped him to study abroad. McKim was building the Boston Public Library at the time with his firm, McKim, Mead & White, and offered to donate the sculpture and place it in the future courtyard. However, the Library refused the offer after a public outcry concerning the offensively realistic, nude female, as opposed to the popular idealized figures of the time. The public also disapproved of the depicted bacchante (a follower of the Roman wine god Bacchus) due to the current temperance movement. McKim eventually donated it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Fast-forward about a hundred years, and the Boston Public Library and the George B. Henderson Foundation Fund commissioned Skylight Studios to create a reproduction of the sculpture for the courtyard after all. The original sculpture had become so popular that it had been reproduced in several sizes and could be found in the collections of several museums. Skylight Studios used the copy of Bacchante and Infant Faun owned by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to make a mold and then cast a copy for the Library, appreciated by a new generation.