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Hollyhock House re-creates ‘Three Dancing Nymphs’

HOLLYWOOD — On the brink of Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th birthday, cutting-edge technology brings the historic first-century Roman marble relief along with two Wright-designed tables back to Hollyhock House.

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, the city of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the Barnsdall Art Park Foundation held an official unveiling Nov. 9, for the re-creation of the spectacular “Three Dancing Nymphs.”

Hollyhock House owner, oil heiress and arts patron Aline Barnsdall purchased the first-century Roman relief in 1921 from a noted Islamic art collector and dealer in Paris. The piece, along with the custom tables, was installed in the loggia of her newly completed home and will now resume their exact place in Hollyhock’s loggia.

In a 1930s Los Angeles Times article, Barnsdall gushed about her acquisition, stating: “It is the thing I most love, except for my relatives. … And I recover immediately when I look at those three maidens. They sooth me with their rhythm, that balance of movement, so charming.”

The original relief is now owned by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and is currently on display at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center. Using new technologies, a three-dimensional scan of the replica was made and from that data the copy was milled using computer controls.

The reintroduction of the artwork reflects an integral part of the storied history of Hollyhock House. The return represents one of many steps undertaken by the city and Barnsdall Art Park Foundation in their ongoing effort to restore the house to its original glory.

The house reopened in 2014, following a meticulous multi-year restoration. Upcoming restoration projects include Hollyhock guesthouse, Residence A, as well as the Motor Court.

On the heels of the ribbon-cutting, the sculpture along with two Wright-designed tables are now on public view as part of Hollyhock House’s self-guided “Walk Wright In” tours on Thursdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

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