Art: Blue Grotto

"She's in there," pointed one proud Pinkerton. "She's the most magnificent thing I've ever seen." "She" is not Sally Rand; she is Michelangelo's Pietà, a star attraction at the 1964 New York World's Fair. Despite doomsayers, Michelangelo's Pietà survived its ocean trip, emerged intact from its elaborate packing cases, and settled proudly atop a pedestal in the Vatican Pavilion.

In a setting conceived by Broadway Stage Designer Jo Mielziner, the alabaster-white, 6,700-lb. sculpture occupies a sort of blue-velours-lined grotto, bathed in the beams of 50 spotlights. Toward the darker wings, 400 hanging half-watt...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!