RCC: Identify John Wilson’s Iconic Sculpture, “Father and Child Reading" With a Plaque

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RCC: Identify John Wilson’s Iconic Sculpture, “Father and Child Reading" With a Plaque

This petition made change with 222 supporters!
Mark Schafer started this petition to RCC Administration

(This petition will be delivered to RCC President Valerie Roberson and Dean of of Arts and Sciences Jeff Van Dreason on Tuesday, July 7, 2020)

Dear RCC President Valerie Roberson and Dean of Arts and Sciences Jeff Van Dreason:

It is long overdue for an informational plaque to be placed by John Wilson’s iconic sculpture of a Black father, reading to his Black son, “Father and Child Reading,” which was installed in the courtyard of RCC between Building 1 and Building 2 on September 23, 1990, and reinstalled after restoration in 2018.

“Father and Child Reading” was for years the official logo of RCC, and it’s still the visual image most closely associated with the College: the sculpture itself located at the heart of the College and, in reproduced form, facing the entirety of the Roxbury Crossing intersection.

This sculpture, its lineage going back to an acclaimed lithograph from 1973 by the nationally renowned lithographer, sculptor, painter, muralist, and art teacher John Wilson, whom the Boston Globe art critic Sebastian Smee called “one of Boston’s most esteemed and accomplished artists,” sits at the entrance to RCC and to Nubian Square—entirely anonymous. There is no identification of the name of the sculpture, the name and other information about the artist who made it, or any context to understand the work anywhere in the vicinity.

For years Roxbury neighbors and artists have been asking RCC to install a plaque to give RCC students and staff, neighbors, passersby and admirers key information about “Father and Child Reading”—its title, the artist's name, information about both--but to no avail. It’s astonishing that a few months short of thirty years since this sculpture was installed, the learning institution that installed it still does not identified it, except on its library web page.

We, the undersigned, call on Roxbury Community College to create a permanent, informational plaque for “Father and Child Reading,” to be placed in close proximity to this sculpture, by the 30th anniversary of its installation.

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This petition made change with 222 supporters!

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