Memory Tests

In our Spring 2007 Newsletter, Access, we posed the question... Can you place this photo?

This unobtrusive block of limestone is clearly visible, but probably overlooked by most people.

Here's the photo as it appeared in the newsletter.

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And here it is in place!

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Recognize it yet? Here’s another shot that may help.

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Yes, it’s the Women’s Building, but why is it there? The answer lies in the original building drawings and blueprints held by the University Archives.

In the upper right corner of this 1951 drawing you will see the block and the wording – “limestone to be set and anchored for carving.”

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Here’s a close-up image.

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One drawing shows the block in place on the second floor of the building.

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And, the drawings we hold actually show an anticipated carving which looks to us like a figure riding a crocodile? What do you think? Legend has it that the university wanted SU sculpture professor Ivan Mestrovic to do the carving, but Mestrovic worked in his studio - not outside on scaffolding - so it never was done.

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July 2007 Update!!!!

Archives recently located information pertaining to the 'sculpture that never was' in the papers of late Vice President Frank P. Piskor.

On November 14, 1967 Lorimer Rich, architect of the Women's Building, wrote to Chancellor Tolley…"You will remember that from time to time we have talked of the possibility of carving that boasted [blasted] piece of limestone on the front of the Women's Building. For several years I have been searching for the proper answer to that with the hope that if I could find something that seemed to please all of us, that you might be able to raise the money for it as a memorial to some interested person."

Rich recommended a female figure by sculptor Vincent Glinsky.

On November 20 Tolley wrote back… "The female figure by Vincent Glinsky is indeed handsome and is very close to what we had in mind for the limestone…. "Last spring we asked Ralph Turner to try his hand at some sketches and they closely resemble those Mr. Glinsky has suggested...."

Tolley passed Rich's letter to Piskor who wrote on November 27, "The problem with the stone on the Women's Building is to find a sculptor who is going to be willing to carve the stone on the building. Mestrovic, you will recall, was unwilling to do it, and our next two sculptors - Winslow Eaves and Dominick Angelo - were luke-warm."

No further information has surfaced as yet, but this does corroborate what Archives posted above.

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Plaster sketch of Vincent Glinsky sculpture for Women's Building

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Proposed Glinsky sculpture in place

Click to view past Memory Tests.