Henry Moore, “Reclining Figure No. 2 — Bridge Prop” Currently installed on the Main Green, this sculpture consists of three physically segmented yet interconnected bronze blobs, purportedly representative of the human body. Its organic feel invites viewers to interact with it, and students can often be spotted climbing on its back or lounging in its shade. 1963. Bronze. Installed on the Main Green. Photo by Ashley So.
Sarah Oppenheimer, “P-131317” Students may not recognize the glass vestibular entrance to the Metcalf Building as an architectural detail on campus, but form and function unite in this piece, which is actually a work by Sarah Oppenheimer ’95. The slanted glass installed in place of the floor in some spots creates different reflections and a sort of mirage as the sun moves across the sky.
2011. Installation of canted, laminated glass with incision on floor. Installed in the Metcalf Building, off of Waterman Street. Photo by Ashley So.
Nina Katchadourian, “Advice from a Former Student” “Take a foreign language, it really wakes up the power of English.” This advice, along with approximately 800 other audio clips, emanates from the sound installation curated by Nina Katchadourian ’89. She compiled snippets of advice from students from classes 1939 to 2010, editing them into an aural collage that plays on a constant loop in the Campus Center.
2010. Audio recordings, infinite loop. Installed in the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center at Faunce House, near information desk.
Photo by Ashley So.
Nick Bibby, “Indomitable,” 2013There is perhaps no better location for a sculpture entitled “Indomitable” than the quad just outside an athletic complex. This life-sized Kodiak Bear rears his head on a ten-foot frame, inspiring students with his grandeur and menacing Brown’s rivals.
2013. Bronze. Installed on the Ittleson Quadrangle, near the Nelson Fitness Center. Photo by Ashley So.
realities: united, “2 x 5 (brothers)” Illuminating the Angell Street entrance of the Granoff Center by night, these two lighted panels meld seamlessly with the building’s facade, filling the space with light. Their frames are filled with translucent fabric that rotates and creates a Rothko-like aesthetic when not in movement due to the color-blocked panels that stare out the building’s entrance.
2012. Kinetic Light Installation: aluminum, steel, glass, thermo-sublimation print on textile, fluorescent light tubes, electronics. Installed in the Perry and Marty and Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, Angell Street entrance. Photo by Ashley So.
“Marcus Aurelius” The lone horseman who watches overt the Ruth J. Simmons Quadrangle has served as guardian of the green since his installation in 1908. Marcus Aurelius is a copy of the original bronze statue that stood for centuries on Rome’s Capitoline Hill before it was moved to the Capitoline Museums in 1981 for restoration and preservation. Brown’s east-facing statue is in constant conversation with the corresponding west-facing work in Rome.
Bronze. Installed on the Ruth J. Simmons Quadrangle behind Sayles Hall. Photo by David Braun.
Tom Friedman, “Circle Dance” 2010. Perhaps the most memorable moment in the brief history of “Circle Dance” occurred this winter, when students bundled up the dancers in hats and scarves to protect them from the Providence frost. Friedman crafted this sculpture to provoke engagement from viewers, using such mundane objects as pots and pans to create figures inspired by Matisse’s “La Danse.”
Stainless steel. Installed on The Walk, Waterman Street. Photo by Ashley So.
Jonathan Bonner, “Gyre” Jonathan Bonner’s “Gyre” interacts both with the public and with the elements — its copper propellers rotate in the wind, spinning atop a firm granite foundation. On the second-floor terrace of List, the sculpture looks down from College Hill and sustains attention from the rest of Providence.
1991. Copper and granite. Installed on the Goldberger Terrace, List Art Building, second floor. Photo by Ashley So.
Larry Kirkland, “Intertwine” Combining science and humanities, brightness and shade, male and female, this mural represents an interdisciplinary, ever-evolving approach to medicine and education. Kirkland approached students to determine what words they most associated with their practices, and the resulting terms — empathy, diligence and discovery — are engraved on blocks across the wall.
2011. Engraved granite, 24-karat gold leaf, cast bronze and carved Carrara marble. Installed in the Medical Education Building, The Warren Albert Medical School, first floor. Photo by Ashley So.
Charles A. Coolidge, “Soldiers Memorial Gate”Known to students as Soldier’s Arch, “Soldiers Memorial Gate” complements the nearby Fleischner memorial, as it commemorates the alums who served and died in World War I. The arch is adorned with symbols of war and victory such as laurels, oak crowns, the eagle and the shield. It also features quotes from iconic poems from the era, most notably a passage from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Sacrifice”: “‘Tis man’s perdition to be safe, when for the truth he ought to die.”
1921. Marble. Installed at the foot of Ruth J. Simmons Quadrangle on Thayer Street. Photo by David Braun.
Richard Fleischner, “War Memorial” Part commemoration, part landscape, the stacked marble grid that hides away near Soldier’s Arch contains the names of each alum who has died in war — World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, to be specific. In spring, the vines that crawl up the planting burst into greenery, contrasting with the hard stone of the structure and provoking reflection.
1997. Granite, marble, bronze, and planting. Installed on the Ruth J. Simmons Quadrangle, near Soldier’s Arch. Photo by David Braun.
“Caesar Augustus” Like his Roman companion Marcus Aurelius, Caesar Augustus is an exact copy of an original statue, one that now stands in the Vatican Museum. Caesar — who formerly acted as guardian over Rhode Island Hall — lost an arm in a hurricane that tore through Providence in 1938. The statue moved to its current location outside the Ratty in 1952.
1906. Bronze. Installed in front of the Sharpe Refectory. Photo by David Braun.
Howard Ben Tré, “Fountain” Erected in memory of Casey Shearer ’00, an undergraduate who died suddenly just days before he was to graduate, water cascades over the three stacked globes that compose this fountain. Like many of the artist’s other works, this fountain intends to contribute to the natural environment of the courtyard, offering tranquility in a lesser-exposed corner of campus.
2003. Cast low-expansion glass, cast bronze, patina. Installed in the Casey Shearer ’00 Courtyard, between the Campus Center and Salomon Hall. Photo by David Braun.
Diane Samuels, “Lines of Sight” At first glance, the pedestrian bridge uniting the two halves of the Life Sciences building appears to be composed of shattered glass. But upon further examination, the intricate details carved into the glass emerge: over 600,000 individually-worked panels of glass trapped between two panes metaphorically bridge the divide between the sciences and humanities by traversing the distance between the two buildings.
2006. Etching, engraved, and cut glass and double-pane windows. Installed in the Sidney E. Frank Hall for Life Sciences. Photo by David Braun.
Ann Hamilton, “Ground”Vivid colors and geometric patterns unite in Ann Hamilton’s carpet to transfix viewers with a collage of letters in varying shapes and sizes, in which short words and syllables can be discerned. Hamilton drew her inspiration from the typeset letters found in printing press drawers, and she composed “ground” to meld with the functionality of the lecture space in Pembroke Hall.
2010. Wool felt carpet. Installed in Pembroke Hall, third floor. Photo by David Braun.
Alexander Calder, “Tripes” After its tenure at Brown, “Tripes” went on to show at illustrious events like the 2012 London Olympics. The abstract black shapes evoke dynamism even within a static shape — crafted just two years before the artist’s death, “Tripes” represents Calder’s organic style and fascination with hard science.
1974. Sheet metal and paint. Installed on the Front Campus. At Brown: October 2004 – June 2007. Photo courtesy of Brown University.
Arthur Carter, “Untitled” The interlocking steel hoops that compose “Untitled” by Arthur Carter ’53 perched on the Quiet Green for three years before leaving campus at the end of 2013. The array of circles unites to form the impression of a sphere without boundaries.
2003. Stainless steel. Installed on the Front Campus (Quiet Green). Photo courtesy of Brown University.
Patrick Dougherty, “Square Roots” Dougherty engaged a group of student volunteers to assist in the assembly of “Square Roots” — a cringe-worthy math pun — which withstood the elements for three years, including a fallen tree, before it was removed in 2009. The vaguely box-shaped structures stood in stark contrast with Dougherty’s existing oeuvre, which rarely invokes geometric shapes in favor of more organic, free-flowing forms.
2007. Wood saplings. Installed on the Front Campus. At Brown: October 2006 – January 2009. Photo courtesy of Brown University.
Roy Lichtenstein, “Brushstrokes” The second in a series of Lichtenstein works to move through campus, “Brushstrokes” features interconnected aluminum panels meant to evoke exactly that — brushstrokes. The arcs of paint burst forth from the ground, conveying the dynamism of the artist’s creative process and creating a sense of movement even within a static object.
1996. Painted and fabricated aluminum. Installed on McMillan Green. At Brown: November 2003 – October 2006. Photo courtesy of Brown University.
Roy Lichtenstein, “Metallic Brushstroke Head” After a brief stint in List Art Center, Lichtenstein’s “Metallic Brushstroke Head” moved to the Watson Institute to serve as a playful greeting for visitors for two years. It features Lichtenstein’s trademark comic-book style transposed onto a standing sculpture. Each of the parts of the “head” — eyes, ears, lips, nose — are visible from different angles, forming a coherent visage through segmented abstraction.
1994. Nickel-plated bronze painted with enamel. Installed in the Watson Institute of International Study lobby. At Brown: October 2002 – August 2004.
Photo courtesy of Brown University.
David Nash, “Box Cross”“Box Cross,” the first loan in the University’s public art collection, set the precedent for the quality and innovation of art to appear on campus throughout the past decade. The stoic sculpture accompanied a series of Nash’s visual art also on display at List.
2002. Charred oak. Installed on the List Art Building Green, College Street 2002-2004. Photo courtesy of Brown University.
Isamu Noguchi, “To Tallness” During the reign of the Edo dynasty in Japan, Manazuru, a town in Kanagawa Prefecture, was widely recognized for the quality of stone quarried there. Noguchi’s piece — which has since returned to his eponymous museum on Long Island — stood on the Main Green paying homage to strength and durability and reflecting the natural environment that surrounded it.
1981. Manazuru stone and basalt with graite base. Installed on the Main Green. At Brown: 2003 – 2006. Photo courtesy of Brown University.
Martin Puryear, Memorial to Slavery and Justice 2014As for the future of public art on campus, the University has already commissioned new works to be installed this year to accompany advances in Brown’s architecture and philosophy. The University’s Public Art Committee unanimously selected Puryear, known for his abstract style, to carry out this project from a list of illustrious finalists. Puryear’s sculpture in commemoration of Brown and Providence’s complicated relationship to the slave trade is expected to arrive on campus in line with the 250th anniversary celebration. Herald file photo of the Quiet Green.
Maya Lin, information unknown Maya Lin is perhaps best known for the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, the striking, reflective stone wall that lists the names of soldiers listed as Missing in Action or Killed in Action as of its creation in 1982. She has since been commissioned to create a permanent work to accompany the Hunter Lab renovations — a marble table carved in the image of Narragansett Bay, with a live current of water running through its heart. This image, taken from the University’s Public Art website, depicts a map of the works on campus, available for those interested in exploring the pieces in this slideshow firsthand. Photo courtesy of Brown University.