The making, breaking, reversing and restoring of Oxford’s statues of the Muses


The making, breaking, reversing and restoring of Oxford’s statues of the Muses

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 Friday 28 June 2024


 At the Weston Library

  Free, booking essential

Book now

About the event 

The statues of the nine Muses on top of the Clarendon Building on Broad Street in Oxford can be considered the crown on top of the architectural façade of the University – a crown that suffered losses, partial restoration in the 1930s and ‘incorrect’ restoration in the 1970s.

Now the Muses are being restored again.  Drawing on materials from the special collections of the Weston Library, John Rolfe and Dr Andrew Dunning will present evidence used to inform the latest restoration.  This restoration will, as far as possible, return Oxford’s Muses to the arrangement of their original appearance in 1717.

After the lecture there will be the opportunity to join John Rolfe on a short walk around the Clarendon Building for further discussion on the statues, and musings on why they were placed in their positions within the cityscape.

This event is part of the Oxford Festival of the Arts 2024 programme, Muses.

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John Rolfe is an art historian and advisor on the restoration of the statues of the Muses on the Clarendon Building.

Dr Andrew Dunning is RW Hunt Curator of Medieval Manuscripts, and Supernumerary Fellow in Book History, Jesus College.

  Tickets and booking information

This talk takes place in person at the Weston Library. Tickets are free, but booking is essential. Once you have booked your place, the ticketing system will send you an automated confirmation.

Book now


Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre, Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG

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 Wheelchair access

The Weston Library is wheelchair accessible.

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