DESIGN STORIES/ A New Boston Memorial for Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King

The Embrace, a memorial sculpture honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, was designed by conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas and MASS Design Group. The sculpture will be built on Boston Common in Boston. Photo: Hank Willis Thomas and MASS Design Group/King Boston. Architectural Digest.

Boston has always had a special place in Martin Luther King Jr.’s place. It is the city where he met his wife, Coretta Scott and where they went to graduate school. He declared in 1965 that “Boston must become a testing ground for the ideals of freedom.”

 “In 2017, King Boston, a privately funded effort working closely with the City of Boston, heeded that call when it asked for submissions for a memorial in the Kings’ honor on Boston Common, the site of many historic marches and protests.”

Today, King Boston, which is also supporting a documentary film and additional programming that promotes equity, has announced the winner: conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas and MASS Design Group, perhaps best known for their work on the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama.

The idea for the 22-foot-high sculpture, which models the hands of King and Scott King, evokes images of the couple—and other protesters—in peaceful marches. Unlike so many other memorials, it also celebrates the power of love and togetherness as opposed to war, violence, and singular heroes.
Photo: Hank Willis Thomas and MASS Design Group/King Boston, Architectural Digest

“Called The Embrace, the 22-foot-tall sculpture represents the hands of King and Scott King, evoking images of the couple—and other protesters—arm-in-arm in peaceful marches for civil rights as well as the power of physical togetherness in declaring resistance against injustice. “The Embrace” also embodies Scott King’s emphasis on the transformative power of empathy—and putting it into action. Visitors to the sculpture will be readily reflected in its mirror-finish bronze, making them part of the installation.”

To read the full content –> Architectural Digest 
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