Soon after the Hospital inauguration, the lobby "was covered over by a 10 1/2-foot Carrara marble Christ statue that has stood there ever since. Donated in 1896 by William Wallace Spence, a Scottish immigrant and one of the wealthiest businessmen in Baltimore, the statue is an exact copy of the Christus Consolator that Danish sculptor Bertel Thorwaldsen executed for Copenhagen's Frue Kirke in 1821.
Why the nonsectarian Hospital acquired the religious symbol is open to speculation, but the day Hopkins opened, University President Daniel Coit Gilman publicly asked for someone to come forward and donate a copy of Thorwaldsen's work. It is believed the gift was sought to offset criticism from the more conservative element in late 19th century Baltimore that the Hospital had no religious affiliation"1.
- Photos by Estefania Etcheves Miciolino (August 2012)
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