ABSTRACT

The active verbs and nouns in this short description depict a living group of statues with energy and vigour, the artist’s enamed imagination, and the moveable gaslight that revolves and takes the viewers away from a xed picture to engage them in an unfolding discovery. In this instance, Cockerell’s daydream allowed him to recreate and translate the experience of the discovery in a dierent space and time. Not only did Cockerell describe how the ruins of the temple would be rst revealed – rst from afar, then closer – he also considered how the restored temple would appear. What is more, Cockerell did not imagine that the discovery of the restored temple would constitute the climax of the exhibition. The centrepiece would be the casts, the closest approximation of the fragments, shown under a revolving light, raised to the height at which they would have been located in the temple, exhibited in a room at least as large as the temple was or had previously been. In this careful staging, the temple was to be slowly discovered, with time, movement, and light. Nothing would be grasped at a glance. The epic of the discovery and restoration of the Temple of Jupiter Panhellenius would unfold – as an epic would – for the observer to truly understand the beauty and meaning of the Aeginan casts. Through spatial narration, the visitor’s experience of the casts would unfold in time.