An artistic dream realized for Hank Willis Thomas

By Celina Colby for The Bay State Banner

Last week, the Boston Art Commission approved artist Hank Willis Thomas' final design for "The Embrace," a sculptural tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King that will live on the Boston Common. Inspired by a photograph of the couple embracing, the piece illustrates two arms entwined around each other, providing mutual support and collective strength.


The sculpture is scheduled to be installed in 2022 near the Parkman Bandstand where Dr. King spoke in 1965. Thomas' design was selected from 126 submissions by artistic teams around the world. Taking into account public response and logistics, the commission voted unanimously to install Thomas's piece. Prior to installation, the plaza surrounding the piece will need approval from the Boston Landmarks Commission.

"This is a really exciting moment and opportunity for us in this project, which honors the legacy and love of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King," says Thomas. "The Boston Common is the oldest city park in the country, and we are proud that this public monument will make history in this historic place."

March 26, 2021