If your winter journeys have taken you speeding up Charles Street or quickly criss-crossing campus roads, now is the time to change gears. Park that car and spend some time strolling around campus. It's only by meeting the university's splendid collection of outdoor sculpture eye to eye that you can really appreciate the treasures in your own backyard.
There are a dozen significant pieces that call campus home, and they're all worth a visit. But even the curator of the university collections, Cindy Kelly, has to admit she has some favorites.
For starters, Kelly says, the piece to examine is the Johns Hopkins Memorial Monument sitting on campus's edge on North Charles and 33rd streets. (Originally sited on an island in the street, it was moved in 1952 following an accident attributed to its location.) Sculpted in 1935 by Hans Schuler and given to the city by the Municipal Arts Society, this magnificent bronze features a bust of Johns Hopkins atop a pylon. At its base, a seated male figure, cradling a book and a scroll, represents knowledge and the university; the female figure, holding a bowl in a snake-encircled arm, conjures up healing and the hospital. The fountain's running water serves as a reminder of the effects of Hopkins' gift to the city.
A bit farther north on Charles Street, just before the tennis courts, you'll find another Schuler masterpiece. This bronze piece, created in 1941, is a monument to poet Sidney Lanier, who taught English literature at Hopkins and music at Peabody. Schuler depicted Lanier with a pencil in his hand and his flute by his side; seated on granite boulders, the figure is framed by an elaborate frieze. This piece, also a gift from the Municipal Arts Society, was presented to the university on the centennial of Lanier's birth.
Much smaller--but equally grand in execution--is Edward Berge's Sea Urchin, which holds forth in the Decker Garden in front of the Hopkins Club. This bronze was originally given to the city of Baltimore when the sculptor died, in 1924, and placed in the fountain at Mt. Vernon Place. The piece, however, was too small for the site, and in 1961 Berge's son Henry was commissioned to cast a larger version as a replacement; the benefactor bequeathed the original to Hopkins.
In front of Shriver Hall sit two larger-than-life figures: bronzes of Daniel Coit Gilman, first president of the university, and William Henry Welch, a founding faculty member of the School of Medicine. The 9-foot-tall pieces were sculpted by Sidney Waugh in 1956. Kelly, the university curator, says she particularly likes these because they were so clearly planned as part of the design of the building.
Also commissioned by Hopkins were The Runner and The Discus Thrower, both sculpted by boxer-turned-architect Joe Brown and installed in 1965 at the completion of the Newton H. White Athletic Center.
Give Peace a Chance, Theodore Scuris' 10-foot-high
situated on the lower quad, is appreciated by Kelly for another
was a thoughtful gift from a class (1970). Another contemporary
is David Lee Brown's The Centennial, a gift of Rhyda and
Robert Henry Levi.
Located on the upper quad in front of the Milton S. Eisenhower
polished steel piece features 31 bars cascading into a fan. Is it
or in motion? There's only one way to find out.