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Marian House

Marian House, Baltimore, MD

Four Caryatids:  Honesty, Integrity, Patience and Trust

Italian bardiglio marble

Sculpted at Bertagnini SRL, Carrara, Italy


CLASSIC STATUES of women, reminiscent of ancient Greece, exude beauty, grace and strength.

Ripples of water from a small fountain soothe ears often troubled by harsh noises. The scent from aromatic healing plants perfumes the air. A cloistered courtyard – an oasis of serenity – embraces the residents of Marian House, a transitional housing and self-development program for homeless women and their Waverly neighbors.

Caryatids – four black marble sculptures of female figures – symbolically hold up the main portion of the new addition to Marian House. They stand with awesome majesty, encasing structural columns. Designed and carved by Claire McArdle, these monumental women symbolize the strength and beauty that lie within each woman who comes to Marian House at 949 Gorsuch Ave.

Just as marble, rough-hewn, sculpted¬†and polished to a high gleam, becomes an artifact of beauty as the artist releases the image within, so each woman of Marian House responds to the “chisel” of staff members and program activities to release from within herself the woman she wishes to become.

Just as one wrong stroke – one incorrect cut – in the hewing process can ruin a piece of marble, so one harsh word, one biased judgment, one too-weighty restriction can crush a woman’s newly emerging sense of self. The line between triumph and disaster is a thin one – both in sculpture and in life.

New hope, inspiration for Waverly

City Diary

See article by Sister Kathleen Feeley.


See In Situ Gallery