Something's Missing

Abbey Ellis - Museum Studies at Leicester

abbey ellis

Something is indeed missing from this sculpture, exhibited in Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, but the most important absent element is not the most obvious one. Plaster casts such as this one of the Borghese Warrior are exact replicas of ancient sculptures made in Plaster of Paris. Casts were thrown out of museums en masse in the nineteenth century because they were seen as “worthless copies”. But casts have their own unique histories. Perhaps what is really missing from plaster casts is a consideration of their value as objects in their own right, which is precisely what my research aims to contribute.