Great Auk Family
This piece was commissioned by the New England Aquarium in Boston as part of the “Great Auk Project,” which uses this extinct bird as a metaphor for man’s impact on the environment. Carved from beautiful Carrara (Italy) marble, the 5′ tall sculpture rests on a 1′ African granite base in the lobby of the aquarium. The birds are depicted at about twice their actual size and are protecting their one egg. The sculpture is meant to represent the final pair of great auks which were collected for a museum. As the story goes, the pair were strangled and the egg smashed, which turned out to be the last egg of this species. Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology was kind enough to allow me to handle actual specimens of the bird and the egg from which I took measurements for the final piece.
Location: New England Aquarium, Boston, MA.
Directions: Check the New England Aquarium’s website.
Jim with his Grandchildren.