VIEWS FROM THE BENCH
THE 9 MUSES COURTYARD

by Florence W Deems

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"The Nine Muses" by Carlos Dorrien, are larger than life-size sculptures mounted around a 20 x 30 ft platform at one end of a courtyard surrounded by columnar arborvitae. This platform is composed of large granite slabs put together in some sort of a puzzle pattern. A narrow water moat in which tropical waterlilies bloom in the summer surrounds this platform. On the platform, near the tallest muse (11 ft tall) is a small and simple rectangular labyrinth. Next to this is the map showing the placement of the muses. But they are not named. Instead, they are indicated by numerals. I don't know whether this numbering system applies to the muses alphabetically.

Here are the nine muses listed alphabetically by their Greek names:

1. Calliope - Eloquence, Epic/Heroic Poetry - emblems: stylus, wax tablets

2. Clio - Historical & Heroic Poetry - emblems: parchment scrolls or set of tablets

3. Erato - Lyric Poetry: Love, Erotic, Mimicry - emblems: lyre

4. Euterpe - Music, Lyric Poetry, Joy, Pleasure, Flute Playing - emblem: double flute

5. Melpomene - Tragedy - emblems: tragic mask and boots; sometimes knife/club in one hand; mask in other hand

6. Polyhymnia - Sacred Hymns, Eloquence, Dance - emblems: long cloak, elbow on pillar; sometimes finger in mouth

7. Terpsichore - Dance, Dramatic Chorus; later Lyric Poetry, then Flute Playing - emblems: usually seated with lyre

8. Thalia - Comedy, Pastoral Poetry - emblems: comic mask and shepherd's crook

9. Urania - Astronomy, Astrology - emblems: globe in left hand, a peg in right hand; cloak with stars

Below are some of the many images I've made of this fantastic sculpture. Since there are several benches and chairs around this courtyard, I have lumped them all together, for simplicity's sake. Please check back after a while, as I plan to add more images.

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Main grouping of benches & chairs Closer view of the 9 Muses View shot with semi-fisheye lens People sitting on the benches shown previously
"Standing Woman in the Sun" from above benches Wooden chairs across courtyard from above benches Notched top of a wooden chair Diagonally across courtyard from wooden chairs
The bench seen
half-hidden in grasses
in previous image
A family approaches the sculpture View from the black benches Around the back hedge showing another small courtyard

Below is a map of the Grounds for Sculpture. The 9 Muses courtyard is located at the large blue "A" - square K5. Click on map image to see a larger version.

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