Worst Public Art: Irish Famine Memorial

Mark Favermann of Berkshire Fine Arts nominates Boston’s Irish Famine Memorial for our Worst Public Art in New England project (submit your own nominations):

This is easy. The Boston Irish Famine Memorial on Washington and School Streets in Downtown Boston is the worst piece of public art in the area. Here, literalness and figurative art sculpture at the end of the 20th Century (1998) underscore the bad in public monuments/public art. Not only are the figures poorly sculpted, but the 2 by 4 smack you in the head literalness of the memorial is so aesthetically unappealing that it is embarrassing. all emotion is lost to the blatant and poorly-wrouight sentimentality of the installation. To make matters worse, some Philistines at the Boston Redevelopment Authority insisted that they be placed on pedestals or plinths that raise the figures to an odd height. This is a me-too memorial with no subtlety or artistic flair. The artist should be embarrassed. BTW, The Cambridge Irish Famine Memorial in the Cambridge Common may be a close second.The Irish Famine deserved better to be commemorated.

One Response to “Worst Public Art: Irish Famine Memorial”

  1. donna dodson says:

    can we vote for our favorite piece of public art? hands down mine has to be ralph helmick’s bust of arthur fiedler on the esplanade.