05. Persephone Unbound

05. Persephone Unbound

"Persephone Unbound" alludes to the mythic queen of the underworld who was bound to that subterranean world for one-third of each year.

Did You Know?

The date

1999

What is it made of?

Cast bronze

How big is it?

122 inches x 31.5 inches x 21 inches

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For ancient civilizations a well-positioned stone created a connection to the cosmos, and left vital evidence of a human presence. A similar sense of timelessness and gravity is evoked by Beverly Pepper's monolithic Persephone Unbound.

Persephone became Queen of the Greek mythological Underworld when she was abducted by Hades, god of the Underworld. Hades fed her a pomegranate, bounding her to the subterranean realm except to emerge in the world during springtime of each year. Persephone Unbound suggests the ideal of freedom, while at the same time embodying the unchanging eternity to which Persephone was subjected.

Cast bronze, 122 x 31 1/2 x 21 in., Gift of Jon and Mary Shirley, 2009.14, © Beverly Pepper | Provenance: Marlborough Chelsea, New York, NY; Jon and Mary Shirley, Medina, WA, June 2, 1999-2009

The Artist

In the Artist's Words

"I wish to make an object that has a powerful presence, but is at the same time inwardly turned, seeming capable of intense self-absorption."
—Beverly Pepper

About the Artist

Born in Brooklyn, 1924, New York, Beverly Pepper has exhibited internationally, including one-person shows at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Brooklyn Museum of Art; Ohio's Columbus Museum of Art; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Since 1951 she has divided her time between homes and studios in New York and Todi, Italy.