And now for the sculptures
The Medical Arts cylinder was installed on the corner of 9th and Walnut Streets in Philadelphia in 2009. It interesting by day but captivating at night.
When the cylinder is lit up at night it reflects cryptic symbols and foreign words onto the walkway and an adjacent building. What do they mean?
I got a clue one night as my husband and I walked across the plaza. He pointed to the top of the cylinder and asked me, “Do you recognize that? It’s a DNA sequence.” He should know, because he wrote a book called Corporate DNA: Learning from Life and did a lot of thinking about DNA and how it works while he was writing that book. I admitted that the letters bore a strange familiarity even though I would be hard pressed to remember anything about DNA from high school biology.
Another look at the cylinder by day. See the DNA sequence at near the top? Can you recognize anything else?
The Medical Arts screen on the other side of the plaza on 10th Street was placed there in 2008. The first time I saw it, I was transfixed. When I finally looked down, I found two rusty X shapes from the stamped out metal that lying on the sidewalk.
There is other beautiful art on the Jefferson Campus and I wish they would let the public know more about it. You might remember the controversy that ensued after TJU decided to sell Thomas Eakins’ painting “The Gross Clinic” to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2007. American surgeon Samuel Gross taught at Jefferson Medical College and the story is that Eakins took one of his anatomy classes.
There is a statue of Gross in the courtyard by Alexander Sterling Calder who was the father of Alexander Calder, known for his jewelry and better known for his mobiles. There is so much history at TJU both artistic and scientific. But that is a topic for another post.
Enjoy the video about Jim Sanborn
The rest of the cylinder is quotes about medicine, in their original language. I didn’t stick around to read the whole thing but recognized and read a bit of the Pavlov. It’s a gorgeous piece – I intend to return to it next time I’m visiting your city. Jealous you see it every day!
I am lucky, yes. But so many people walk by it and never give it a second look.