Venetian Wellhead Relocation

Columbia University, New York, NY

The Venetian Wellhead at Columbia is made of solid marble. Venetian wellheads were often hand-carved from single, locally imported limestone or marble block. It was gifted to the college in 1908 by the Class of 1887. The date of production and artist are unknown. The Columbia Wellhead is a typical reproduction of the decorative wellheads produced in Venice from antiquity up to the Renaissance. The Wellhead has been on display outside for a significant amount of time, possibly since its acquisition. Sources confirm that the Wellhead was moved in the past, sometime in the 1930s, from outside Philosophy Hall to Avery Plaza to make way for a new Rodin sculpture.

Our conservators collaborated with Columbia University to oversee the relocation of the Venetian marble Wellhead, located in Avery Plaza on the University of Columbia’s campus. The Wellhead was relocated to its new home on the opposite side of Low Library, in front of Earl Hall, located at 2980 Broadway. This relocation took place on December 23. 2020, and was completed in anticipation of construction set to take place in the Avery Courtyard. Only the marble wellhead was transported. It was placed on a new concrete base poured by Columbia University’s Campus Operations. The old concrete base with bronze lettering and plinth was not included in the wellhead relocation.