Robert Frost (1874–1963), Class of 1896
Collection of the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College: Gift of the Class of 1961; S.996.50
Tucked away in a contemplative glade that is far removed from the bustle of Hanover and the college campus, George Lundeen's sculpture of Dartmouth's lyrical son captures Robert Frost as he begins to pen what will become Mending Wall, one of his most celebrated poems. Lundeen is known for his ability to capture human emotion in metal, noting, "I am attracted to the human figure, and it will be enough to keep me busy for the rest of my life." Lundeen's other celebrated works include his beloved 1987 sculpture of Benjamin Franklin, a landmark on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.
Lundeen's Robert Frost (1874–1963), Class of 1896 presents the poet in his element: both at his alma mater and within nature. The sculpture and its location invite meditation and introspection, both noted hallmarks of Frost's poetry. The sculptor has depicted Frost at mid-life—vigorous, but with the familiar lines of age beginning to form in the poet's face. Frost was interested in farms—during his life, he lived and worked on several—and Lundeen dresses the figure in a heavy work shirt, braces, and high-topped shoes. With regard to the setting, the artist stated, "I wanted to show Frost outdoors, in the environment he knew so well." The artist has created a symbolic and contemplative moment by seating Frost on a large, rough block of New Hampshire granite. "What I've tried to do," Lundeen concluded, "is to capture the everyday, rural New England aspects of Frost's early life, yet suggest something of the creative genius that lay within this most unusual of men."
Last Updated: 10/25/12