Courtesy: Art on File
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Hammering Man

Seattle, Washington

Jonathan Borofsky

Seattle Art Museum: corner of 1st and University, 1300 1st Avenue, Seattle, Washington, 98101
Owner:  Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs
Date:  1991
Placement:  museums
Artwork Type:  outdoor sculpture, public sculpture
Material:  Cor-Ten steel (TM), paint
Description:  Jonathan Borofsky’s Hammering Man stands at the Seattle Art Museum in downtown Seattle. In 1986 Seattle voters approved a public levy to provide funding for the design and construction of a new downtown Seattle Art Museum. The 1% for Art funds generated by the public levy were matched with other 1% for Art funds and donations from museum contributors to create "In Public: Seattle 1991," a city wide celebration of public art. This project brought artists from around the world to create permanent and temporary works in various sites throughout Seattle. Internationally recognized artist Borofsky was selected to create a major work for the entryway of the then-new downtown Seattle Art Museum designed by Robert Venturi.

The 48-foot-high black silhouette sculpture is a worker. The Hammering Man celebrates the worker's contribution to society. He or she is the village craftsman, the South African coal miner, the computer operator, the farmer or the aerospace worker--the people who produce the commodities on which we depend.

Borofsky's goal is to have several different Hammering Men placed around the world--all working simultaneously. Other versions of this work are in Frankfurt, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Washington D.C, Japan and Switzerland among other places.

Funding source: Seattle Art Museum 1% for Art, City Light 1% for Art, the Virginia Wright Fund, and contributors of the Seattle Art Museum.
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