Boston Art Commission

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Click on thumbnails to view additional images of this piece:
  • 79-BAC 1X1-Robert Burns
  • 78. Robert Burns - 1
  • 78. Robert Burns - 2

Robert Burns

Artist:

Henry Hudson Kitson

Location:

Winthrop Sq., at Otis St. and Devonshire St.  

Location

Winthrop Sq., at Otis St. and Devonshire St.
United States
42° 21' 17.46" N, 71° 3' 27.5364" W

Neighborhood:

Downtown

Type:

Sculpture

Year:

1920

Medium:

Bronze and Granite

Collection:

City of Boston

Funders:

Burns Memorial Association

Description:

The foremost poet of Scotland, Robert Burns is known for his original poems as well as his adaptations of folk songs, which he wrote in the Scottish dialect. His best-known work is Auld Lang Syne, traditionally sung on New Year’s Eve. Small details and personal touches set this sculpture of Burns apart from many of the other bronze sculptures featured on the Public Art Tour. The poet is depicted on a stroll through the countryside, accompanied by a book and his Collie dog named Luath. His walking stick and well-worn shoes give the impression that he went on such excursions often. They also illustrate the pastoral themes so prevalent in his verse. Despite his youthful, sturdy appearance here, Burns died at the age of 37 from a heart condition he may have developed during his childhood, spent working on the family farm.

This statue was first placed in the Fens—an ideal site for an afternoon stroll. It was moved to Winthrop Square in 1975. The prominent memorial of the Scot overlooked for many decades, in the wide expance of the Emerald Necklace Park. Aware that Winthrop Square was without statue, Nelson Aldrich, chairman of the Boston Art Commission, suggested that developer Ted Raymond could take Burns there. Burns arrived in 1975 and has been there ever since with his loyal Luath.

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