Hanging sculpture Crystara temporarily removed from Crerar Library atrium

Image of Crystara

Surrounded by scaffolding, workers prepare to lower Crystara from the Crerar Library atrium.

For the next several weeks, visitors to Crerar may find that the main lobby feels a little emptier than usual. For the past 30 years, visitors to Crerar have walked under Crystara, a 30’ long aluminum and Waterford crystal sculpture by artist John David Mooney. Suspended above users as they made their way to the bookstacks and other library resources, the sculpture was designed to refract the sunlight coming in through the atrium skylight, changing the look of the entire lobby as the sun moved across the sky. Now, in order to repair the roof and replace the glass in the skylight, Crystara has been temporarily taken down.

Over four days, from July 7 to 10, workers lowered, disassembled, and moved the sculpture to the east side of the first floor. Work on the roof is scheduled to be finished mid-September, at which point the workers will return and the sculpture will be returned to the atrium. In the process, the new glass in the skylight should make Crystara gleam like new and help to fulfill the artist’s intention in a way viewers haven’t seen for years. 

After the break, see a slideshow featuring more pictures from the entire process.

 

 

 

Crystara being lowered
Crystara being lowered

Workers prepare to lower Crystara to begin the work of dismantling it for temporary storage.

crystara3

Now on the ground for the first time in 30 years, the sculpture will need to be disassembled to fit through the library's doors.

Crystara on ground with the crystal removed

The crystal in the sculpture has been removed and is being stored separately.

The aluminum body has been separated into two pieces.

The aluminum body has been separated into two pieces.

Crystara on the east side of the first floor.
crystara7
Crystara on the east side of the first floor.

Crystara has been moved to the east side of the first floor reading room, displacing the tables along the wall.

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