The Barbican Muse

The Barbican Muse is a sculpture of a woman, holding tragedy and comedy masks, by Matthew Spender, and was installed on a wall near the Silk Street entrance to the Barbican Centre in the City of London, England, in 1994.[1]

The Barbican Muse
The sculpture in 2014
ArtistMatthew Spender
Year1994 (1994)
MediumGilded fibreglass
SubjectWoman with tragedy and comedy masks
Dimensions6.1 m (20 ft)
LocationLondon, EC2
United Kingdom
Coordinates51.519606°N 0.092990°W / 51.519606; -0.092990
OwnerDick Enthoven

The 20 feet (6.1 m) long illuminated sculpture called Muse was cast in fibreglass and then gilded.[2][3] It was commissioned, in 1993, by architect Theo Crosby to 'float, glow and point the way' to visitors arriving at the centre on the walkway from Moorgate Station.[4]

As part of the 1993–1994 refurbishment, Crosby also commissioned nine gilded fibreglass muses by British sculptor Sir Bernard Sindall, but these were removed in April 1997, and sold to Dick Enthoven in 1998.[5][6]


  1. Oxford, Esther (1994-05-31). "Facelift reveals heart of Barbican tourist trap". The Independent. Retrieved 2014-09-24.
  2. Owen, Richard (1998-10-14). "Chins off the old block". The Times. The Times Digital Archive, 1785–2008.
  3. Binney, Marcus (1993-02-09). "Architecture with art at its heart". The Times. The Times Digital Archive, 1785–2008.
  4. "Arts Briefing: Barbican Brighter". The Times. The Times Digital Archive, 1785–2008. 1993-08-26.
  5. Krouse, Matthew (2003-12-19). "Eighth wonder". Mail & Guardian. South Africa. Retrieved 2014-09-24.
  6. "Stock Photo: An ex-Barbican muse on the move requires careful handling". Alamy. 1998. Retrieved 2014-09-24.

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