The artist is Meredith Bergmann. I had the honor of writing the engraved biographical sketches for each woman – – Abigail Adams, Phillis Wheatley, Lucy Stone.
The Boston Women’s Memorial celebrates three important contributors to Boston’s rich history. Each of these women had progressive ideas that were ahead of her time, was committed to social change, and left a legacy through her writings that had a significant impact on history.
The sculptures were dedicated on October, 25th 2003 on the historic Commonwealth Avenue Mall in Boston, between Fairfield and Gloucester Streets. Artist Meredith Bergmann’s vision for this memorial represents the forefront of new thinking about representation in public art. Unlike conventional statues that are larger than life or set high upon pedestals, the subjects of the Boston Women’s Memorial are sculpted in a manner that invites the observer to interact with them.
Each woman is shown in a pose that reflects the use of language in her life and instead of standing on her pedestal, she is using it. This memorial combines symbols found in the traditional sculptures surrounding it, but uses them in new and original ways.
More on PHILLIS WHEATLEY
“Imagination! Who can sing thy force?
Or who describe the swiftness of thy course?
Soaring through air to find the bright abode,
Th’ empyreal palace of the thund’ring God,
We on thy pinions can surpass the wind,
And leave the rolling universe behind:
From star to star the mental optics rove,
Measure the skies, and range the realms above.
There in one view we grasp the mighty whole,
Or with new worlds amaze th’ unbounded soul…”
And across the centuries since Phillis Wheatley first wrote, we celebrate 50 years since the publication of a book, by a Nigerian writer, that changed the way the West would think about African nations.