Arts in Transit
Chesterfield Arts
St. Louis
Clayton
Grand Center
Lacledes
Laumeier
SLU
Southwestern
U. City
 

Caduceus

Caduceus

Artist: James Muir, American
Title: Caduceus, 1997
Media: Bronze
Dimensions: 12' h., 9' w.
Owner: St. Louis University

About the Work
Winged Caduceus, the angel of healing, crowned and with flowing hair, rises majestically from a broken sphere. A double serpent, reminiscent of the universal symbol of the medical arts, forms an open coil around her. Signs and symbols, some easily recognizable and some not, adorn both her as well as the sculpture’s base. For sculptor John Muir this sculpture was created in his quest for world peace. It is an example of what he calls "allegorical art"—art that is laden with symbolic meaning. It is a type of art that he hopes will bring focus to duty, honor, courage, justice, truth and
the "ultimate triumph of the human spirit."

In works such as Caduceus, sculptor John Muir uses elaborate construction techniques including building a complex network of trial armatures to test weight and stability as he develops the piece. This Caduceus, which stands 12 feet in height, is the first produced in an intended edition of 12. A maquette version of Caduceus is also available in an edition of 50.

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, Muir’s early interest in history was reinforced while he was a West Point cadet. A move west served to reinforce not only his passion for history, particularly that of the Civil War, but also his love of horses. Finally settling in Arizona, he quickly gained acclaim as a sculptor of meticulous attention to detail specializing in the Civil War, cavalry subjects, and the American Frontier. His work is a part of numerous collections including the Gettysburg Battlefield Museum and the Southern Christian College in California. As a part of Muir’s quest for "spiritual truth" and peace, it his hope that one day not only will there be a Caduceus sculpture on every continent, but that world peace will in fact become a reality.