Moving Marble, 1984

I’m far from home today and when I opened up my briefcase I realized that I’d left my most current flash drive back in Houston. This means that all of us are at the mercy of whatever photographs I happen to have on my hard drive. It’s not ideal but I suppose that once in a while it’s good to be thrown back on my wits, such as they are.

Luckily, I have a large, if random, assortment of images with me at all times in case of such emergencies. Here are some that I dimly remember coming across in a back corner of the archives a couple of years ago—amazing photos of the quarrying and transport of the blocks of marble that comprise the Michael Heizer sculpture 45° 90° 180° that dominates the Engineering Quad. Moving things this big was a precise and  intricate undertaking, carefully planned and executed:

Sculpture quarrying

sculpture loading

Sculpture Highway 290 near Brenham

Every turn was thought out in advance:

Sculpture route

Somewhere I have pictures of the installation, but right at this moment I couldn’t say exactly where. Someday I’m sure they’ll come in handy.

Bonus: One of my favorite undocumented aspects of commencement is the strategic placement of pieces of green plywood to prevent people from doing damage to themselves or others.





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2 Responses to Moving Marble, 1984

  1. Hannes Hofer says:

    Here is the reason for the placement of the plywood next to the drains:
    We do indeed place the plywood on top of the grates so that stiletto heels will not get caught in them and cause injury to the wearers.
    A few years ago when we had heavy rains the night before the commencement ceremony, we arrived in the morning to find much of the quad flooded. The reason for the flooding was that the drains had been covered with plywood!.
    Since then, the covers have been left off until a a few hours before the guests arrive.

  2. Pingback: Surveyors in the Engineering Quad: 2017, 1984, and 1913 | Rice History Corner

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