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From Every Angle

By Kayla Harris, Librarian/Archivist & Ryan O’Grady, Digital Projects Manager

In spring 2018, University of Dayton alum, Ms. Helen Zechar (Coil) donated a portion of her Marian statue collection to the Marian Library. Named the Cecil and Desha Coil statue collection in honor of both of her parents, the collection grew over the years as the family traveled. Ms. Zechar wanted the statues to continue to bring joy to others and so she could think of no better place to donate them than to the Marian Library. This donation adds to the Marian Library’s expansive collection of over 3,000 statues.

The statues in this collection are created in a variety of mediums, including wood, ceramic, marble, porcelain, and glass and represent a variety of artistic styles. One of the styles is known as “kitchen madonnas” that show Mary represented in a more domestic way, sometimes with a broom or animals, such as the porcelain statue of Mary with an infant Jesus and a rabbit, by W. Goebel.

One of the most striking pieces is a glazed ceramic figure of the Madonna made by Tucson, Arizona artist, Marion DeGrazia. Though not as well-known as her husband, Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia, Marion was instrumental in the success of his studio and gallery, and also an accomplished artist on her own. The statue is recognizable with its distinctive DeGrazia style.

Digital Projects Manager Ryan O’Grady and Wayne State University practicum student, Nicole Williams, created 360° HTML5 view files of the statues from the Cecil and Desha Coil statue collection in eCommons, including the DeGrazia statue, so that users can see all sides.

As O’Grady explains, "By utilizing Ortery’s 360 PhotoCapture turntable and software I was able to capture high resolution, focus stacked images. The images are then combined with Ortery’s TruView image-combination software to create the interactive HTML5 Viewer file. This file enables the user to manipulate and examine the object in all of its possible angles. As you can see from the example, the user is able to view the statue two ways: rotating the item by pressing the play head or click and dragging on the image itself. The HTML5 Viewer allows the user to zoom in on the item using the magnifying feature. This feature truly highlights the fine details of these historical statues from every angle."

The turntable equipment was funded by a past grant from the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded through the State Library of Ohio. Several other statues had been previously captured using this equipment, and all of the statues can be viewed in eCommons.

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