But, this is not a funny photo and I'm thankful that I took the time to learn more about its significance. After taking the photo on our recent Boston visit, I realized that I hadn't taken the time to learn anything out about the statue. It's simply amazing what can be found online and so I searched for Boston statue. Yes, I'm addicted to online searches.
The statue above is one of two statues that comprise the Boston Irish Famine Memorial. The sculptures were done by Robert Shure, a graduate of the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts. His work has been featured in several Boston museums and galleries. The two works are in a memorial park on a plaza along the Freedom Trail in Boston, MA.
The one below depicts a ragged and starving Irish family suffering during the Great Famine of 1845-1852. This statue is in sharp contrast to the one above that depicts a family that had emigrated to America representing hope for the future.
|Internet source: Robert Shure website|
Since then, it's has been labelled as "the most mocked and reviled public sculpture in Boston" by the art critic of The Boston Globe. Maintenance was cut back after Flatley's 2008 death. The Downtown Boston Business Improvement District and a nearby business help to clean the park area. Still, the site has been described in as a "magnet for vagrants and pigeons."
Sadly, as shown, those pigeons are a frequent sight atop the statues. They are fed by compulsive pigeon feeders who frequent the park during daylight hours. Until such feeding is discouraged and prohibited, it's impossible to keep the birds from landing on and fouling the statues. Panhandling also has been cited as a deterrent to keep visitors from stopping in the park.
Given the park’s position along the Freedom Trail, the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District is working to clean it up. The group sees the park as a welcoming and space and plans to add an information kiosk on the plaza.
Maybe changes will be made because the sculptures deserve better.