Last weekend a car plowed off the road and straight into the side of the Brooks Museum of Art. Sadly as well as hitting the building, it wreaked devastation on two of the three statues that Wheeler Williams had been commission to sculpt in 1961 out of Carrara marble. Like so many Memphians, I love those statues and had been by just a few weeks earlier to sketch them. I went back this weekend to sketch what remains, one lonely statue of Fall, missing her seasonal sisters, and two chipped and cracked bases. The statues have been taken to see if they can be restored, but I'm heartbroken to lose these dazzling white statues from their niches against the white marble jewel box of a museum.
The only small consolation is that the museum was planning to abscond with them, removing them from the perfect place they were created to be, and take them downtown to try to catch more tourist foot traffic. We would be missing them soon enough anyway. But I hate destruction and continue to grieve for them in the park.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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