Boston Art Commission

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Click on thumbnails to view additional images of this piece:
  • 26-BAC 1X1-Ether Monument
  • 26. Ether Monument - 2
  • DSCF9484
  • DSCF9488
  • 26. Ether Monument - 1
  • DSCF9480

Ether Monument / Good Samaritan

Artist:

John Quincy Adams Ward

Location:

Boston Public Garden, near Arlington St. and Beacon St.  

Location

Boston Public Garden, near Arlington St. and Beacon St.
United States
42° 21' 17.3808" N, 71° 4' 17.292" W

Neighborhood:

Back Bay

Type:

Sculpture

Year:

1867

Medium:

Marble and granite

Collection:

City of Boston

Funders:

Thomas Lee

Description:

This 40-foot-tall monument commemorates not a person, but a medical breakthrough: the use of ether as an anesthetic. The first public demonstration of ether anesthesia was conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1846 by Boston dentist William T.G. Morton and Doctor John Collins Warren. Morton administered the ether, and Warren then removed a tumor from an unconscious patient. Ether had enormous benefits, allowing doctors to work more closely and carefully, and giving patients a respite not only from pain, but also from the anxiety associated with surgery. Atop the monument, two figures sculpted by John Quincy Adams Ward enact a Biblical story about the relief of suffering. The Good Samaritan is shown caring for an injured stranger he met on the road.

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