Copies in Plaster: The Bust of Trajan and Other Works from the Johnson Museum
A curatorial intervention by Billy Breitweiser, MA student, Archaeology
The Bust of Trajan is a plaster cast, or copy, of a marble original on display in the newly installed galleries for Greek, Roman, and European Art before 1800. This piece in particular is incredibly important as the Roman original no longer exists. Cornell University’s plaster Trajan bust, along with one other copy located at the Martin von Wagner Museum in Wurzburg, Germany, are the only surviving copies of that Roman original. Since the original no longer exists, these copies help to preserve the piece for future generations to view and study. This exhibit explores why people over the centuries have made copies of works of art in plaster. The history of plaster cast making is traced from Roman times to the present. It touches on what these copies were used for during each time period, whether for the production of new works, for instructional purposes for artists, or for educational purposes for students and museum visitors. The piece is connected to other works of art on display in the galleries of the Greek, Roman, and European Art before 1800. These connections provide more details to situate the viewer in the space and to help the viewer understand how the different pieces work together to tell one story.
Plaster cast making has been an artistic trend since Roman times and its history is filled with rediscovery, devaluation, and invention. It is an important history that has played a role in the creation of many artistic trends as well as the ways in which museums display art and disseminate information to visitors. The Bust of Trajan (Figure 1) from the Cornell Cast Collection provides an entry point for this museum intervention.
By displaying this plaster bust in the gallery space among original archaeological materials as well as other examples of plaster making, the intervention calls the visitor’s attention to the surrounding space and allows the visitor to think more critically about the works. First, I will discuss the intervention and how The Bust of Trajan situates in the galleries of the Greek, Roman, and European Art before 1800. Then, by highlighting other works in the gallery, I will discuss three co-related issues dealing with plaster cast collecting that this intervention is meant to divulge to visitors. These aspects include the history of plaster cast collections of ancient sculpture in the United States and at Cornell University, the use of plaster casts in art academies and their influence on artists, and the opportunity to use plaster cast making in new ways with live models to aid in the creation of new works of art.
The Bust of Trajan and the Intervention
The goals of this intervention are to relate to visitors a history of plaster cast making. Further, the exhibit intends to provide the visitor with examples of how plaster casts were used and how artists took advantage of making copies to create new works. It draws on connections with other works that are in the Greek, Roman, and European Art before 1800 gallery. This history of plaster cast making is especially relevant as Cornell University had one of the largest collections of plaster casts in the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century. The Bust of Trajan is an excellent piece to use as the focal point of the intervention as it is a plaster cast that was made from another cast located at the Martin von Wagner in Wurzburg, Germany. The German cast was made from an original Roman work, but that original no longer exists. Therefore, Cornell’s plaster cast is a copy, of a copy, of an original. This highlights one of the important qualities of the plaster casts as they can preserve an image of original works of art. In this case, the two casts, one at Cornell and one in Germany, are the only sources that scholars can use for study and that the public can see of that particular bust.
A second goal of the intervention stems from the debate of original versus copy, which plays a large role in the history of plaster cast collections. During the twentieth century, the casts became seen as fakes and as inauthentic, which I will discuss more in the section on the history of the cast collections in the United States. In many cases, this issue led to the destruction of plaster cast collections. As museums and other institutions began to attain more original works, the plaster casts were relegated to back rooms or storage areas. In general, copies were never intermixed in displays with original works of art. A distinction had to be made, by separate rooms most often, between what was original and what was a copy. By placing The Bust of Trajan in the Greek and Roman gallery among original works, the intervention intends to break down these barriers. Also, the plaster cast’s inclusion among original works calls to attention how these works came to Cornell. The original works were attained after the plaster cast collection had fallen out of grace with the University and its student body. It also provides an intriguing contrast with some of the other works in the gallery as it is a complete work, although a copy, among incomplete or broken works, which are originals.
A third goal of the intervention was to return the casts to a museum setting. Many of the casts from the collection are spread around campus in offices and hallways, stored in rooms on campus, or stored in an off-campus warehouse. These pieces were once collected together and placed on display in a campus museum. By returning this work to a museum setting, it is given more of an authority. In the hallways and classrooms of buildings, without labels, the plaster casts sometimes look more like decorative pieces rather than works of art. No context is provided as to what they are, how they came to be at Cornell University, or what their history is at the institution. The plaster casts have their own aesthetic value and artistic history that is worthy of a place in the museum. By placing the plaster casts in the museum, there is more of an opportunity to explain to visitors and students what the casts are and what their connection to Cornell is. The history of cast collecting is wrapped up in many other histories relating to the collecting policies of museums and the formation of artistic traditions in the United States. Therefore, displaying and reintegrating the casts into the museum allows for more of an open discussion about these histories.
Cast Collections in the United States
In the United States, plaster casts of antique sculpture were introduced to the colonies as early as 1728. These casts, brought by the artist John Smibert, were used and displayed in his studio in Boston. The casts were praised for improving the cultural climate of the New England area and were also used practically in an art school for colonial artists. Prior to the Revolutionary War, wealthy colonialists and American statesmen traveled to Europe to visit collections and acquire plaster casts. If they could not travel to Europe, casts could be ordered from the great museums of Europe. George Washington sent an agent to Europe to obtain a plaster cast collection in this manner After the Revolution, leaders and officials in America believed that the average Americans did not have time for the fine arts and that they were luxuries that could not be afforded. The collection of casts in larger institutions like art academies and museums did not occur until decades later because of this thinking. Individual collection persisted, however. During the nineteenth century, these views changed. Again, the casts were seen as a way to improve the cultural intellect of the populace. Original works were unattainable, but the plaster casts were just as useful for art academies and art museums to display. By the second half of the nineteenth century, several art academies were set up in the United States and cast collections were often the central feature in museum displays. The plaster casts presented the ideals of classical civilization and aesthetically pleasing art forms. Ancient Greece and Rome were considered to embody the highest aims of art. They were used to educate the public, raise cultural awareness, and to draw connections with the traditions of Europe. Displays of plaster casts did not come without problems, though. One specific problem was that of displaying the nude body. Many museums and institutions faced dilemmas when displaying the nude figure to the public. Some felt that the casts should not be displayed. Fig leaves were sometimes created as attachments to cover the nude body. In other instances, men and women were not allowed to view the exhibitions at the same time. This controversy over the nude led to damage being done to some collections by visitors. While this was occurring in the museums, the usefulness of plaster casts was declining in art academies as the live model became more prominent than the plaster cast. The nude model presented the artist with the challenge of drawing a real body, rather than an idealized form of the human body. Decline in plaster casts in museums took a different route. At the turn of the twentieth century, wealthy entrepreneurs were funding trips to Europe to collect original archaeological materials that were beginning to be unearthed. Original artifacts were soon being sent consistently to the United States, which left less space for the museums to display plaster casts. Scholars criticized the plaster casts, emphasizing that they were not authentic or original. Cultural aspirations could now be realized through this new authentic material. As the plaster casts fell out of favor in the museums, a similar trend followed in university collections.
At Cornell University, the first plaster casts were commissioned by Andrew Dickson White, the first president of the University. The funds for the collection were provided by Henry Sage. Education was a primary motivator in the collection of the plaster casts. A.D. White intended the collection to be a teaching collection, utilized by various departments. As most students could not travel to Europe to see these works, he brought the works to the students. The collection shaped the intellectual landscape of the campus. More than five hundred casts were collected between the years 1891 and 1894, leading to the opening of the first campus museum in 1894 in McGraw Hall. The original curator of the collection was Alfred Emerson, who created a catalogue of the plaster casts. Cornell’s collection was the most noteworthy in the country at the time, equaled only by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. More casts were acquired after this initial collection process and a new building was constructed to house the collection. The new museum, including a conservation studio, opened in Goldwin Smith Hall in 1906. Classes were held in the galleries and students were encouraged to interact with the casts. Plaster casts included ancient works from Greece, Rome, Egypt, the Near East, as well as casts of Baroque and Renaissance works. The cast collection was not only used in art classes. It was utilized by humanities classes as well in teaching classics. Beginning in the 1930s and 1940s, there was movement of the cast collection and a redistribution of the museum space. The space was turned into classrooms and a cafe over the next decades. Little by little, casts were removed from the building and spread around the campus. More recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in the plaster casts, their preservation, and their restoration. This intervention plays a role in this new wave of interest.
Plaster Casts in Art Academies
The practice of drawing from plaster casts can be seen in the piece Student Drawing from a Cast (Figure 2) by Frederick Bloemaert in the Johnson Museum collection.
It is exhibited in the same gallery space as The Bust of Trajan. This piece was created around 1656 and depicts a student drawing from a plaster cast of a sculpture while surrounded by plaster heads, torsos, and limbs. It is an engraving and chiaroscuro woodcut. The piece is the title page of the Tekenboek, the drawing manual of Frederick’s father, Abraham Bloemaert, a well known Dutch painter and printmaker in etching and engraving. Bloemaert was a master artist and took on many pupils, including his four sons, who achieved great success from his teachings.
During and after the Renaissance, young men were sent by their parents to work with a master artist as his pupil. The master provided study materials for his pupils, including books, prints, drawings, and plaster casts. Pupils, who often lived with their masters, intended to learn certain skills in the art of painting so that they could become as good as their masters. The core of a painter’s training in Europe was drawing. Master painters not only provided study material, but they also made corrections on their pupil’s drawings. Beginners first copied prints and drawings as it was important for pupils to understand how to draw a three-dimensional subject onto a flat surface. The most important structure that pupils could learn to draw at this stage was the human body. Drawing manuals, similar to that created by Bloemaert, provided examples of the basic structures of anatomy in prints and drawings from which pupils could copy. Composition was also taught to beginners as they sometimes copied whole paintings by notable artists. During the second phase of study, the pupils were allowed to copy three-dimensional forms. Plaster casts were an essential study material. Casts included Greek and Roman copies as well as copies of more modern works. Casts of limbs and body parts, as seen in Student Drawing from a Cast, were also popular in the studios of master artists. After mastering the casts, the pupil moved on to live models.
The first formal art academies were founded in the sixteenth century in Europe, with more being founded in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Academies were more formal institutions with set programs, unlike the master-pupil arrangement. The progression of a young artist’s career followed very similar phases, however. Again, the plaster casts, especially those of Greek and Roman sculpture, were a middle phase between copying two-dimensional prints and drawing from live models. After the Renaissance, classical iconography was a major influence for artists. The Renaissance provided a rebirth of the classical canon and a reevaluation of its aesthetics. Many travelled to Rome to study from the actual original works after their studies from casts in the academies. Artists could not draw from live models until they were approved based on their work with the plaster casts. Outside of Europe, plaster casts were also introduced into art academies during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These art academies, which were formed mainly in colonial contexts, were far removed from the artistic traditions of Europe and the Renaissance. In order to train artists in the European and classical tradition, leaders of these new institutions commissioned collections of plaster casts of some of the greatest works of ancient sculpture. Often, museums were set up along with these art academies so that the public could visit and appreciate these works that they would not have otherwise been exposed to.
A particular example of this situation is the art academy that was founded in Mexico City in 1781, the Academia de San Carlos. This art academy was fundamental in training many generations of Mexican artists. It was founded by Spanish artists and was modeled after the art academy in Madrid, Spain. A large collection of Greek and Roman art, as well as Renaissance and Baroque works, were commissioned by the academy’s first director. With these casts and the creation of a museum for the casts, the institution became a true art academy. The plaster casts were employed by instructors as teaching tools in training students in the classical canon of European art. Approaches to studying the casts and utilizing the casts in classes and teaching varied greatly over time. Drawings from the initial phase at the academy highlight the functionality of casts in teaching. Rather than drawing the cast straight on, like would be done when copying a print, the casts were drawn from all angles. One significant trope during this period was placing sculpted figures into natural contexts through the representation of a landscape background. During the second phase of the academy, the plaster casts were less frequently used in classroom teaching. More focus on the shadowing of the sculpture can be seen in these drawings and there is less interest in placing the work within a background scene. Live models were often used as a parallel study to the plaster casts during this phase. In the third stage, beginning in the twentieth century, plaster casts were represented in two new ways. First, drawings were created where the forms were barely defined. Second, there was an emphasis on contrasting light and shade in the pieces. During this phase, the plaster casts were being depicted through drawing in a way that displayed a lack of respect for the once honored works. Broken pieces were often chosen to be drawn and casts were drawn in subversive positions. It was during this phase, that Diego Rivera drew the Venus de Milo laying on the ground on her back, making the piece unrecognizable. From the twentieth century onwards, instructors focused less on classical art, becoming more interested in drawing from live models as well as from works of indigenous American peoples. Slowly, the drawing from casts disappeared from the institution, with only several casts remaining at the school to be used occasionally by the artistic community.
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is another institution with a long and ongoing history with plaster casts. Founded in 1805, it is the oldest art museum and art academy in the United States. Before it was established, a collection of plaster casts was commissioned by Charles Willson Peale, one of the founders of the institution. This collection included casts of the traditional classical canon as well as more modern sculptures. At the academy, casts were displayed with other works of original art. Students drew from the casts in the galleries and their original works were influenced by their work with the plaster casts. In 1845, a fire at the academy destroyed most of the plaster cast collection, but more were acquired over time. By 1880, many of the casts were removed from the galleries and used solely in the art studios. It was at this time that museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art were acquiring their own, elaborate cast collections. Other factors involved in moving the casts to the studios included the increasing size of the permanent collection of the academy as well as the dislike for cast drawing by one of the professors, Thomas Eakins. After this, students and professors began drawing the casts in new ways, experimenting with their skills. Today, the casts are still used in classes by professors and students and the academy retained its hall of casts. All first-year art students continue to enroll in cast drawing.
In Europe, the situation was different. Europeans had far more access to original works of antique sculpture than artists from the colonies. For instance, the French Academy in Rome provided French artists with direct access to original works of art from antiquity and the Renaissance which could be copied and used for inspiration. However, this did not stop art academy’s, like the master artists, from acquiring their own plaster cast collections. For instance, the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts has a collection, today, of over eight hundred sculptures, most of which are plaster casts. The collection began to be acquired during the eighteenth century after the architect, Nicodemus Tessin, had visited the cast collection of the French King in 1687. Casts in this collection are still utilized today in teaching.
Plaster Casts after Live Models
Jean-Antoine Houdon was one artist during the eighteenth century who was extremely influenced by the Greek and Roman sculptures that were unearthed and collected during the Renaissance. Houdon studied antique and Renaissance sculpture at the Academie de France in Rome from 1764-1768. Here, he created works that were highly influenced from the plaster casts in the Academie’s studios. Based on his works, he became an official member of the Academie in 1777. His reputation as a great sculptor became firmly established through his sculptures of portrait busts. The portrait sculptures were so good that critics said that they were almost life-like. Rather than being an anonymous bust, his portraits stood out from others of that time. Houdon used a system of measurements to ensure that his portrait busts would come as close as possible to the anatomy of his subject. The life-like portraits were enhanced by Houdon’s close attention to the eyes of his subject. He simulated the liveliness of an eye through shadows, light play, and the creation of pupils in the sculpture. This is a marked difference from the influential Roman busts which he had studied in Rome. The eyes in Roman portraiture are not carved, thus appearing more lifeless. His attention to detail transgressed beyond the eyes into other features such as the hair and the lips. In addition, Houdon played with the form of his sculpture, allowing the head to face in multiple directions. Similarly, he sometimes extended arms from the shoulders and created portraits with more of a complete torso rather than just the upper portion of the body. Again, this is different from the Roman busts, as many did not depict much of the torso and sometimes did not depict the width of the shoulders and chest. In some cases, Houdon created multiples of his sculptures in marble. Marble, however, is an expensive material to produce sculpture so he sometimes made copies in terracotta and plaster for mass production and sales. Although he made copies of some of his works, Houdon was always concerned with the ownership of his work and with imitations of his works. He was the only portraitist among his colleagues from the Academie to create a red wax seal with his name and title that was used to authenticate his sculptures.
One technique that Houdon used in the eighteenth century was to take impressions from the faces of the living as well as the dead. This technique can be traced back to antiquity. In book 35 chapter 44 of The Natural History, Pliny the Elder discusses the use of plaster by a particular sculptor. He writes, “the first person who expressed the human features by fitting a mold of plaster upon the face, and then improving it by pouring melted wax into the cast, was Lysistratus of Sicyon.” Pliny goes on to say that Lysistratus is the first sculptor to create accurate likenesses of his subjects. This practice was not widespread in the eighteenth century and Houdon is credited as one of the first portraitists to apply this technique as a form of measurement. The importance of the ancient sculpture collection in Rome for Houdon and his interest in plaster as a medium can be connected here. He used the plaster copies as guides for his own work as well as informed others about the importance of plaster casts. Houdon advised many collectors on what casts were best to collect and why. In his own teaching, he used plaster casts frequently and diligently. He believed that concentrating on the study of anatomy, on making copies after antique sculptures, and on sculpting from live models were the knowledge that students needed.
The Life Mask of the Marquis de Lafayette (Figure 3) is a plaster impression made from Lafayette while still alive. Lafayette, a nobleman from France, is heralded as a hero of the American Revolution.
He joined in the fighting in the colonies in 1777 and was appointed to George Washington’s staff. There he formed an alliance with Washington. In 1778, he returned to France and convinced the king to send reinforcements to America. Two years later, French forces arrived in America and Lafayette led successful battles, culminating in the victory of Cornwallis in 1781. In gratitude to Lafayette, the Virginia Legislature proposed that a portrait bust be rendered so that he can be remembered for all time. Houdon was selected for this commission and in 1785, the life mask was created by Houdon. Using this life mask as a model, Houdon completed this work in the summer and fall of 1785. He created two busts, one for the city of Paris and another for the capitol building in Richmond, Virginia. By creating a life mask, Houdon was able to capture specific qualities of Lafayette’s face and transfer them to his own sculptures. Another bust was acquired by Thomas Jefferson, who had also gained a relationship with Lafayette during the course of the American Revolution. This bust, however, was plaster and painted a terracotta color. Once more, in 1790, Houdon was commissioned to create a bust of Lafayette. This time, the marble portrait was commissioned by the National Guard in Paris. In this portrait, signs of aging are visible as he is depicted as his natural self. Houdon followed the same technique when he set out to sculpt a marble bust of George Washington. The plaster life mask of George Washington can be seen at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City. This example shows how plaster could be used in a variety of ways in the creation of artworks. Not only could plaster copies inspire and influence works, they could directly serve as a guide for new works.
This intervention deals with the history of plaster cast collecting, the functions of plaster casts in the creation of art, and the debates revolving around the use of plaster casts in museum displays today. The cast collections functioned in specific ways in the first museums. They were meant to be a symbol of high culture and a symbol of elite status. In some cases they were meant only to be displayed to an elite audience. When they were shown the greater public, the casts were meant to educate and elevate the status of the public. In this way, these early collections created a museum which disseminated information to visitors and a museum which taught uneducated visitors. Issues regarding the way museums present information to visitors and display works of art for visitors still persist today. The casts played a role in the hierarchical structures of the museum. As the casts fell out of favor and lost their value, however, museums discarded them in favor of new works. Rather than being stored away, the collections can be put to use in the museums of today. There are several ways that the plaster casts can be employed within the museum space that can break down some of the debates surrounding the casts as well as highlight the collecting policies of museums and what materials museums deem to be valuable. First, integrating casts in with original works allows museums, especially university museums, to fill in gaps in their collections. Smaller museums, unlike museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, do not have the breadth of a collection which can encompass all mediums of ancient art. The casts can provide art forms that work in conjunction with other works already in place in the museum. Second, providing a history of plaster casts is a valuable exhibition on its own. It is an important history for museums to tell as these collections once made up the majority of art works in most museums. These collecting policies can also bring to the surface some of these facts about casts as elite objects and their placement in the hierarchical structure of the museum. With the recent resurgence of interest in plaster casts, this intervention is meant to be a starting point at Cornell University for the museum to reconsider the value of displaying and studying these plaster casts.
 Rune Frederiksen and Eckart Marchand, Plaster Casts: Making, Collecting, and Displaying from Classical Antiquity to the Present (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2010).
 Walter Hatto Gross and Deutsches Archaologisches Institut, Bildnisse Trajans (Berlin: Gebr. Mann., 1940).
 James K. McNutt, “Plaster Casts after Antique Sculpture: Their Role in the Elevation of Public Taste and in American Art Instruction,” Studies in Art Education 31, no. 3 (1990): 159.
 Suzanne LaFollete, Art in America from Colonial Times to the Present Day (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1929).
 Pamela Born, “The Canon is Cast: Plaster Casts in American Museum and University Collections,” Art Documentation: Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America 21, no. 2 (2002): 9.
 Betsy Fahlman, “A Plaster of Paris Antiquity: Nineteenth-Century Cast Collections,” Southeastern College Art Conference Review 12, no.1 (1991): 1-9; Alan Wallach, “The American Cast Museum: An Episode in the History of the Institutional Definitions of Art,” Exhibiting Contradiction: Essays on the American Art Museum in the United States, ed. Alan Wallach (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1998).
 Francis Haskell and Nicholas Penny, Taste and the Antique: The Lure of Classical Sculpture 1500-1900 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981).
 McNutt, “Plaster Casts after Antique Sculpture,” 161.
 Ibid., 164.
 Ibid., 165.
 Born, “The Canon is Cast,”, 9.
 Peter Kuniholm et al., A Guide to the Classical Collections at Cornell University (Ithaca: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, 2003): 11.
 Ibid., 11.
 Ibid., 13.
 Ibid., 13.
 J. Bolten and Abraham Bloemaert, Abraham Bloemaert, c. 1565-1651: The Drawings (Netherlands: J. Bolten, 2007).
 John Walsh, Jan Steen: The Drawing Lesson (Malibu: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996): 46.
 Ibid., 48.
 Ibid., 50.
 Ibid., 51.
 Ibid., 55.
 Kathleen Christian, Empire without End: Antiquities Collections in Renaissance Rome, c. 1350-1527 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010); G.W. Clarke, Rediscovering Hellenism: The Hellenic Inheritance and the English Imagination (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989); Richard Hingley, Images of Rome: Perceptions of Ancient Rome in Europe and the United States in the Modern Age (Portsmouth: Journal of Roman Archaeology, 2001); Eckart Marchand, “Plaster and Plaster Casts in Renaissance Italy,” in Plaster Casts: Making, Collecting, and Displaying from Classical Antiquity to the Present (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2010): 49-79.
 Elizabeth Fuentes Rojas, “Art and Pedagogy in the Plaster Cast Collection of the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City,” in Plaster Casts: Making, Collecting, and Displaying from Classical Antiquity to the Present (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2010): 229.
 Ibid., 232.
 Ibid., 236.
 Ibid., 237.
 Ibid., 239.
 Ibid., 240.
 Ibid., 240.
 Ibid., 247.
 Cheryl Leibold, “The Historic Cast Collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts,” Antiques and Fine Art, Spring (2010): 187.
 Ibid., 187.
 Ibid., 188.
 Ibid., 189.
 Ibid., 190.
 Ibid., 187.
 Eva-Lena Bengtsson, “The Plaster Casts of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts,” Translated by Tomas Tranaeus, http://www.konstakademien.se/sv/Ovrigt/Plaster/.
 Chalres Janoray and Jean-Loup Champion, Antiquity Revisited: The Classical Tradition in Sculpture from Houdon to Guillaume, Exhibition October 12 – November 15, 2000 (New York: Charles Janoray LLC, 2000): 6.
 Ibid., 6.
 Anne L. Poulet et al., Jean-Antoine Houdon: Sculptor of the Enlightenment (Washington: The National Gallery of Art in association with the University of Chicago Press, 2003): 20.
 Ibid., 20.
 Ibid., 21.
 Ibid., 21.
 Ibid., 22.
 Ibid., 23.
 Ibid., 20.
 Pliny the Elder, The Natural History, Translated by John Bostock (London: Taylor and Francis, 1855): 35.44.
 Poulet, Jean-Antoine Houdon, 33.
 Ibid., 35.
 Ibid., 259.
 Ibid., 260.
 Ibid., 260.
 Poulet, Jean-Antoine Houdon, 263-268. “George Washington Life Mask,” http://www.themorgan.org/exhibitions/gwlifemask.asp.
Bengtsson, Eva-Lena. “The Plaster Casts of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.” Translated by Tomas Tranaeus. http://www.konstakademien.se/sv/Ovrigt/Plaster/.
Bolten, J. and Abraham Bloemaert. Abraham Bloemaert, c. 1565-1651: The Drawings. Netherlands: J. Bolten, 2007.
Born, Pamela. “The Canon is Cast: Plaster Casts in American Museum and University Collections.” Art Documentation: Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America 21, no. 2 (2002): 8-13.
Christian, Kathleen. Empire without End: Antiquities Collections in Renaissance Rome, c. 1350-1527. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010.
Clarke, G.W. Rediscovering Hellenism: The Hellenic Inheritance and the English Imagination. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Fahlman, Betsy. “A Plaster of Paris Antiquity: Nineteenth-Century Cast Collections.” Southeastern College Art Conference Review 12, no.1 (1991): 1-9.
Frederiksen, Rune and Eckart Marchand. Plaster Casts: Making, Collecting, and Displaying from Classical Antiquity to the Present. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2010.
Fuentes Rojas, Elizabeth. “Art and Pedagogy in the Plaster Cast Collection of the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City.” In Plaster Casts: Making, Collecting, and Displaying from Classical Antiquity to the Present, edited by Rune Fredericksen and Eckard Marchand, 229-247. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2010.
Gross, Walter H., and Deutsches Archaologisches Institut. Bildnisse Trajans. Berlin: Gebr. Mann., 1940.
Hingley, Richard. Images of Rome: Perceptions of Ancient Rome in Europe and the United States in the Modern Age. Portsmouth: Journal of Roman Archaeology, 2001.
Francis Haskell, Francis and Nicholas Penny. Taste and the Antique: The Lure of Classical Sculpture 1500-1900. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981.
Janoray, Charles, and Jean-Loup Champion. Antiquity Revisited: The Classical Tradition in Sculpture from Houdon to Guillaume, Exhibition October 12 – November 15, 2000. New York: Charles Janoray LLC, 2000.
Kuniholm, Peter et al., A Guide to the Classical Collections at Cornell University. Ithaca: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, 2003.
LaFollete, Suzanne. Art in America from Colonial Times to the Present Day. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1929.
Leibold, Cheryl. “The Historic Cast Collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.” Antiques and Fine Art, Spring (2010): 186-191.
Lucian. Jupiter Tragoedus. Translated by H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler, Chapter 33. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1905.
Marchand, Eckart. “Plaster and Plaster Casts in Renaissance Italy.” In Plaster Casts: Making, Collecting, and Displaying from Classical Antiquity to the Present, edited by Rune Frederiksen and Eckart Marchand, 49-79. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2010.
McNutt, James K. “Plaster Casts after Antique Sculpture: Their Role in the Elevation of Public Taste and the American Art Institution.” Studies in Art Education 31, no. 3 (1990): 158-167.
Mills, John W. The Technique of Casting for Sculpture. London: Batsford, 1967.
The Morgan Library and Museum. “George Washington Life Mask.” Accessed April 28, 2014. http://www.themorgan.org/exhibitions/gwlifemask.asp.
Pliny the Elder. The Natural History. Translated by John Bostock, Book 35, Chapter 44. London: Taylor and Francis, 1855.
Poulet, Anne L., Guilhem Scherf, Ulrike D. Mathies, Christoph Frank, Claude Vandalle, Dean Walker, and Monique Barbier. Jean-Antoine Houdon: Sculptor of the Enlightenment. Washington: The National Gallery of Art in association with the University of Chicago Press, 2003.
Wallach, Alan. “The American Cast Museum: An Episode in the History of the Institutional Definitions of Art.” In Exhibiting Contradiction: Essays on the American Art Museum in the United States, ed. Alan Wallach. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1998.
Walsh, John. Jan Steen: The Drawing Lesson. Malibu: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996.