GLAM & The Lost-Wax Casting Process

Significant portions of the data and images belong to the public “for the benefit of all the people, forever” in line with the CMA’s mission to  create transformative experiences through art.

Cleveland Museum of Art

Times are changing! We now live in a world that offers seemingly unlimited access to what was previously only available to the select view.  On January 23, 2019, Cleveland Museum of Art threw open its doors to Open Access, removing all restrictions from use.

Join me as I explore the Lost-Wax Casting process with Susan Bergh, Curator of Pre-Columbian and Native North American Art, CMA.

Figure with Deer Antlers Pendant

Figure with Deer Antlers Pendant Panama, Darién or Venado Beach region, Openwork style, 5th-8th Century The Cleveland Museum of Art. The Cleveland Museum of Art Handbook. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1958. Mentioned and Reproduced: cat. no. 380

This emphatically male figure combines a human body with a composite animal head. The antlers are the stag’s; the snout, perhaps a snarling feline’s; and the hair is formed of braided serpents whose heads hiss from the figure’s shoulders. The extended tongue may convey aggression or perhaps death because dying animals are depicted with lolling tongues. Either condition is in keeping with the creature’s ferocity.The Cleveland Museum of Art

What is Open GLAM?

According to Douglas McCarthy, in his February 2021 CODART article, “Almost 1000 cultural heritage institutions around the world1 have published some or all of their online collections for free reuse, modification and sharing. They are part of the ‘Open GLAM’ (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) movement that views liberal access2 and reuse (where culturally appropriate3) of digital collections as fundamental to education, research and public engagement.

GLAM signifies Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums. The words “Open GLAM” refers to endeavours made by GLAM institutions to provide high-resolution downloadable images free of charge to maximize the ability of the user to interact with, share, and reuse the image. Over the past two years, galleries, libraries, archives and museums have moved their collections and exhibitions online to reach a global community. Open access is the gift of knowledge.

Everyone should be able to access and reuse cultural heritage in the public domain.


Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

11 thoughts on “GLAM & The Lost-Wax Casting Process

  1. Ah! Apparently I’m not the only GLAM around. Although they are different acronyms, both deal in the world of art.

    Lost wax is not new to me, and I have had first hand education. In my 20’s I had a friend Lois, a graduate of … I think it was the Art Institute of Vancouver. At the time I was only aware of 1 art college, but being a city that celebrates the arts there are many more now. Hence…I am not sure.
    Anyway, I lived in Vancouver at the time. (When I came to Toronto to go to college, I had every intent of returning to Van-groovy. Thing is, I fell in love here. The love has lasted until today.)

    Lois was educated in the lost wax technique. She got many commissions doing statuettes.
    As we lived together, I was privy to the process.

    First – she would make a figure out of clay.
    Then when approved, she would copy it in wax. Sometimes many times over & over.
    Then the wax figure was covered in a cement….of sorts. (more clay?)
    There was a hole left somewhere.
    Then the cement.. was heated until the wax flowed out of the hole.
    Then melted bronze was poured into the hole.
    When cold, the cement outer layer was cut and chipped off.
    Voila, a bronze statuette.

    I’m going from memory. I thought she was the bee’s knees with her art abilities. I now honestly wonder what happened to her.
    Boy, could she draw and paint!!!


    1. What an extraordinary memory. I would love to meet up with Lois. Toronto is a beautiful city – art, culture, history, food, music, literature – and the list goes on. I can understand why you fell in love with Toronto. I hope you had a wonderful Canada Day! I will keep looking for an artist names Lois who lives in Vancouver!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YES! Find Lois! I will look for her as well.
        I have been told many times, and know in my heart & mind that my memory is like wow!
        I have a pic of her. She was about 19 – 20.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful gold figure and so detailed, outstanding really! I enjoyed searching the details, a true work of art! Thank you, also, for the useful and important information you have included! ! I am learning! !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Liz – three cheers! I believe OPEN Access is imperative to ensure that everyone has access and benefits from advancements in knowledge and the potential to add to existing knowledge. Copyright is still in place and plagiarism is unacceptable. I have only explored the surface of OPEN Access so I have much to learn. It is exciting to see how this will all evolve.

      Liked by 1 person

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