Boston Art Commission

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Click on thumbnails to view additional images of this piece:
  • 6-BAC 1X1-Samuel Eliot Morison
  • 6. Samuel Eliot Morison - 1
  • 6. Samuel Eliot Morison - 2

Samuel Eliot Morison

Artist:

Penelope Jencks

Location:

Commonwealth Ave. Mall, between Exeter St. and Fairfield St.  

Location

Commonwealth Ave. Mall, between Exeter St. and Fairfield St.
United States
42° 21' 4.2228" N, 71° 4' 51.0024" W

Neighborhood:

Back Bay

Type:

Sculpture

Year:

1982

Medium:

Bronze and Granite

Collection:

Funders:

Henderson Foundation

Description:

Dressed in a windbreaker and simple cap and seated casually upon a rock, this bronze figure looks almost indistinguishable from any tourist visiting the Boston shore on a cloudy weekend. In fact, it is the likeness of Harvard professor Samuel Eliot Morison, the foremost American naval historian of the twentieth century. Morison won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Christopher Columbus and personally sailed several of the routes Columbus is believed to have followed. However, Morison also evoked controversy by authoring a textbook with insensitive comments about slavery. With her unpretentious depiction, sculptor Penelope Jencks downplays Morison’s roles as professor and provocateur and emphasizes his passion for the sea.

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