Athena Giustiniani


2037 Sam Houston Avenue
Map | ID#:


Gift from SHNI class of 1912

Installed in Main Building

Moved to Estill Building

Sep. 11, 1997:
Rededicated in Peabody Library

Returned to Art Department



The plaster replica of the Athena Giustiniani statue was a gift from the SHNI class of 1912. The 8-foot tall statue of Athena holding a spear and attended by a serpent is a copy of an original marble piece of art that stands in the Vatican.

Originally erected in an alcove of the Main Building auditorium in 1922, Athena was later moved into a reading room within the Estill Library. Years later, and after suffering a few injuries, the statue moved into an art studio on the library’s third floor where, eventually, it was put into storage and forgotten. It was rediscovered during the 1996-97 restoration of the Estill Building.

Following restoration in 1997, Athena moved to the reading room of the Peabody Library. It remained there until it the Peabody archives moved to the Gresham Library, whereupon the statue was returned to the art department and today resides just inside the north entrance of Art Building E.



The statue of Athena as she stood during her years in the Peabody Memorial Library.


A close-up photo of Athena’s right hand and some of the injuries she’s incurred in her first century.


The re-dedication plaque tells a brief tale of the statue's first 100 years.


Athena Statue Restored to Former Glory, September 1997
Wikipedia: Athena Giustiniani

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The Buildings of Sam Houston State University website documents the physical changes of the SHSU campus in Huntsville from its inception in 1879 through tomorrow. The alumnus-run site details changes to the academic, residential, and historical buildings and other prominent landmarks.