1. Hammering Man, 1991
Where Is It?
On the corner of 1st Avenue and University Street, at one of the entrances to the Seattle Art Museum.
Take a Look
About the Artwork
The 48-foot-high black sculpture is a silhouette of 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.
Other Hammering Men
Seattle's sculpture is the second largest Hammering Man on the planet. A taller version is in Frankfurt, Germany. Borofsky's goal is to have several different Hammering Men placed around the world – all working simultaneously. Other big outdoor versions of this work are in Japan and Switzerland. In the United States there are Hammering Man sculptures in New York, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C., among other places.
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, the largest in the history of the Seattle Arts Commission, brought artists from around the world to create permanent and temporary works in various sites throughout Seattle. Internationally recognized artist Jonathan Borofsky was selected to create a major work for the entryway of the new downtown Seattle Art Museum building designed by Robert Venturi.
Office of Arts & Culture | Seattle
Seattle was one of the first cities in the United States to adopt a percent-for-art ordinance in 1973. For 40 years, our public art program has been integrating artworks and the ideas of artists into a variety of public settings, advancing Seattle's reputation as a cultural center for innovation and creativity.
Directions to the NEXT STOP
Facing Hammering Man, with the Seattle Art Museum in front of you and 1st Avenue behind you, walk left up 1st Avenue until you reach the other entrance to the museum. Look up and you will see MIRROR. (You might get a better view of it from across 1st Avenue.)