Boston Art Commission

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  • French, Science Controlling Forces of Steam & Electricity 1882

Science Controlling the Forces of Steam and Electricity

Artist:

Daniel Chester French

Location:

Near Franklin Park Zoo  

Location

Near Franklin Park Zoo
United States
42° 18' 21.438" N, 71° 5' 40.7724" W

Neighborhood:

Dorchester

Type:

Sculpture

Year:

1882

Medium:

Marble

Collection:

City of Boston

Funders:

Description:

This over life-sized allegorical group made of Vermont marble was created in the late nineteenth century when ideas about applied science and the industrial uses of steam and electricity were making their way into the popular imagination. Science is represented by a seated female figure who holds a microscope in her left hand. At her left side, the young man representing Steam crouches over a cloud of vapor and rests his arm on a ship’s helm. On Science’s right, an exuberant boy representing Electricity stands on a globe crossed by a bolt of lightning. The group and its companion piece, Labor, Art and the Family, were made for the Boston Post Office by the sculptor Daniel Chester French in 1882. When the building was razed, they were transferred to the Franklin Park Zoo. Other works by Daniel Chester French can be found nearby, including his famous Milmore Memorial.

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