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Edmonia Lewis Sculpture Discovered in Public Library

From the Paris-Bourbon County Public Library:

Sometimes hidden treasure turns up in unexpected places – such as your own front door, or the public library of a small town in Kentucky. The Paris-Bourbon County Public Library is proud to announce the discovery – right on its own doorstep – of a “lost” fine art work entitled The Bride of Spring, a sculpture created by Edmonia Lewis in the late 1870s.

Bride of SpringFor more than 30 years, visitors to the Paris-Bourbon County Public Library in Paris, Kentucky, routinely passed through a small, bright entry foyer – rarely giving a thought to the graceful white statue tucked into a corner by the door. Dressed in flowing veils decorated with floral garlands, this “pretty lady” guarded the library entrance in relative obscurity, drawing occasional glances of admiration and sometimes serving as a prop for seasonal decorations or children’s games.

In late 2006, Estill Curtis Pennington, an internationally-known fine arts historian and consultant, returned to Bourbon County from abroad and visited the library. Though he had passed by the statue many times in the past, something on this visit piqued Pennington’s curiosity and he decided to make a closer inspection; an inscription on its base led to positive identification. The Bride of Spring – also known as The Veiled Bride of Spring – is of carved marble, and stands 48” tall including the attached platform base. It is in overall good condition and is now protected by a custom-made glass display box.

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