OOSI Sculpture

Hart Crane Memorial

1999 / Gene Kangas / Cleveland

00999 2016.jpg

3 curling blue pipes mimic the waves of the Cuyahoga just a few meters to the East. These abstracted waves wind and undulate around two cor-ten steel pieces covered with the poetic words of Hart Crane.

Kangas explained the different tidbits about the fabrication of the piece. The steel that was used was from the same company that built the Edmund Fitzgerald (the Titanic of the Great Lakes that sunk in 1975). The rocking boat-like element was based on specifications for an ore boat from the company that designed the Fitzgerald as well. The blue paint used to coat the sections of tubing is the same paint used on boats. He said that the cor-ten pieces, inscribed with Crane's words have a clear and direct association with him, and it may appear that the tubes do not. However, the winding, wavy forms of the tubes were inspired by Crane's own whimsical, winding way of writing. Kangas wanted to stay away from unadorned, straightforward elements for this piece, because Crane would have done the same in his poetry.

When asked about the distinct lack of silhouetted figures commonly found in his work, Kangas mentioned that the presence of words negates the need for a figure, because the words then become the focal point through which the viewer enters the piece.

This piece was originally supposed to be installed in Brooklyn under the Brooklyn bridge, a famous subject of Crane's. However, before reaching a final official contract, Peter Putnam (the commissioner) was killed in a tragic car accident. Kangas reached out to Putnam's attorneys regarding the state of the work and his attorneys said that without a completed contract, the job was off. However, Kangas had a postcard from Putnam that detailed specifics about the work, and that showed his express interest in making this piece a reality. The attorneys, knowing Peter personally, agreed that that would have been as good as a contract in Peter's eyes, but insisted that the cheaper land on the Cuyahoga be used instead of the land under the Brooklyn Bridge.

Location: Corner of Merwin and Columbus Streets

County

: Cuyahoga

Citation

: Gene Kangas, “Hart Crane Memorial,” Ohio Outdoor Sculpture Inventory, accessed December 13, 2017, http://oosi.sculpturecenter.org/items/show/999.

Dublin Core

Title

Hart Crane Memorial

Description

3 curling blue pipes mimic the waves of the Cuyahoga just a few meters to the East. These abstracted waves wind and undulate around two cor-ten steel pieces covered with the poetic words of Hart Crane.

Kangas explained the different tidbits about the fabrication of the piece. The steel that was used was from the same company that built the Edmund Fitzgerald (the Titanic of the Great Lakes that sunk in 1975). The rocking boat-like element was based on specifications for an ore boat from the company that designed the Fitzgerald as well. The blue paint used to coat the sections of tubing is the same paint used on boats. He said that the cor-ten pieces, inscribed with Crane's words have a clear and direct association with him, and it may appear that the tubes do not. However, the winding, wavy forms of the tubes were inspired by Crane's own whimsical, winding way of writing. Kangas wanted to stay away from unadorned, straightforward elements for this piece, because Crane would have done the same in his poetry.

When asked about the distinct lack of silhouetted figures commonly found in his work, Kangas mentioned that the presence of words negates the need for a figure, because the words then become the focal point through which the viewer enters the piece.

This piece was originally supposed to be installed in Brooklyn under the Brooklyn bridge, a famous subject of Crane's. However, before reaching a final official contract, Peter Putnam (the commissioner) was killed in a tragic car accident. Kangas reached out to Putnam's attorneys regarding the state of the work and his attorneys said that without a completed contract, the job was off. However, Kangas had a postcard from Putnam that detailed specifics about the work, and that showed his express interest in making this piece a reality. The attorneys, knowing Peter personally, agreed that that would have been as good as a contract in Peter's eyes, but insisted that the cheaper land on the Cuyahoga be used instead of the land under the Brooklyn Bridge.

Creator

Date

1999

Subject

Sculpture Item Type Metadata

Location City

Location County

Location Site

Corner of Merwin and Columbus Streets

Creation Date

01/01/1992