In the 1980s, John Wilson received a commission to create a sculpture to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a park in Buffalo, NY. Inspired by ancient stone Olmec heads he had seen in Mexico, he created an inspirational and evocative 8-foot high bronze portrait head of Dr. King. The original 30-inch bronze study (or maquette) for that work is what will be installed Brookline Town Hall. Mounted on a 50-inch high pedestal in the lobby, it will welcome visitors and provide the emotional experience of looking into the eyes of Dr. King. Located in a place of honor, the sculpture will represent the values and aspirations of our community and serve as an expression of our Town’s commitment to racial equity.
It should be noted that this sculpture is a different and, many believe, a more intimate portrait of Dr. King than the one he created later for the U.S. Capitol. The cost for the sculpture and pedestal is $97,000 (after a significant discount offered by the estate of the artist and their gallery representative). The Town has agreed to accept the gift, install it permanently in the lobby, and protect it. There will be a rousing dedication ceremony once the fundraising is completed, probably in the late fall of 2018 or spring of 2019.