Memorial to Dr. King
BU Alumna, Ms. Ruth N. Caplan, and sculptor Mr. Chris Sharp, realize their dream of honoring Dr. Martin Luther King with a memorial sculpture of Dr. King, which Mr. Sharp has kindly loaned to BUSTH.
Eventually, Ms. Caplan’s dream is to honor Dr. King with a life-size sculpture at his three alma maters- Crozer Theological Seminary, Boston University and Morehouse College. As a 1962 graduate of BU who was blessed with the opportunity to hear Dr. Howard Thurman preach at Marsh Chapel and as the granddaughter of a professor at Crozer Theological Seminary, she have a personal connection to two of the three schools.
Mr. Sharp says this of his work: “In my sculpture of Dr. King, I connect the dual portraits to depict his strength and compassion. The crouching figure is reaching out to help us all rise to a better place. The viewer can figuratively and literally touch the hand of Dr. King and all the ideals and righteousness he represents. When you touch the outstretched hand of Dr. King you are forgiven for your past sins and you are encouraged to strive toward a better “you.” Rising out of the crouching figure like a spirit of hope is the image of Dr. King at his most iconic moment giving his historic, “I have a dream” speech. As you look at this rising image of Dr. King in a moment of impassioned speech you also see an echoing repetition of the right arm. This gliding hand is meant to represent the passing of time and the cadence of Dr. King’s oration. Dr. King is literally reaching for the highest human potential. The speech finds its unique strength when Dr. King goes off script and starts his oration of truth and passion. His extemporaneous words are so poignant they require every thinking, conscientious individual to question equality and justice in our society. The transcendence of the moment is all in the cadence of the oration; truth and passion sing out in higher, higher and higher notes until the melodic resonance of Dr. King’s words convince a whole society that when we share the “dream” of a better tomorrow it becomes a reality. The work of providing liberty and justice for all members of society is the true test of a democracy, of our American democracy. This sculpture is meant to be an ever vigil icon of our need to continually demand better of ourselves and our government to maintain a harmonious, just, and equitable society.”
Read more about the sculptor in Washington Post.
The sculpture is on display in STH Room 325.