Video: ‘Crouching Spider’ Makes Way for New Public Art on Campus


Dartmouth College Photographer Eli Burakian ’00 set up a time-lapse camera on a tripod recently to record the dismantling and removal of Louise Bourgeois’ Crouching Spider from the Maffei Arts Plaza in front of the Black Family Visual Arts Center.

Louise Bourgeois, Crouching Spider, 2003, bronze, silver nitrate and polished patina, and stainless steel. Collection Louise Bourgeois Trust, courtesy Cheim & Read. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00, Art © Louise Bourgeois Trust / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY)

The massive sculpture had been on loan from the estate of the late artist, and during its time at Dartmouth had caught the attention of many campus visitors, curious children who played among the metal arachnid’s long legs, and other members of the Dartmouth community. On April 8, a work crew wrapped the legs in blue protective material and dismantled the sculpture, which looked briefly like something out of the movie Avatar.

Next month, the space vacated by the sculpture will be filled with a year-long exhibition of works by Allan Houser, a noted American sculptor, painter, and draftsman who worked in a variety of media, including bronze, stone, and steel. Five major Houser sculptures will be installed in the Maffei Arts Plaza and the gateway of the Hood Museum of Art. There will also be an exhibition of Houser’s drawings this fall in the Strauss Gallery of the Hopkins Center for the Arts.

Watch Burakian’s time-lapse video below, which catches Crouching Spider in the act of leaving town.

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