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John B. Putnam, Jr., Memorial Collection

Princeton is home to one of the country's most dramatic permanent displays of major 20th-century sculpture, the Putnam Collection. One of the more visible works is "Oval With Points," located between Stanhope Hall and West College.

   

• The work is by Henry Moore, a British sculptor born in 1898. It was executed in 1969-70 and installed in 1971.

• The bronze sculpture is 11 feet tall and weighs two and a half tons. Within a few months of its delivery on campus, the interior curves of the oval had been burnished through contact with bodies sitting on it.

• The sculpture bears a relationship to one of Moore's favorite found objects -- an elephant skull acquired in East Africa by scientist Julian Huxley and his wife Juliette. The Huxleys had placed the skull in their garden, but gave it to their friend Moore after sensing his fascination with its "strange, brooding presence."

Source: "The Sculpture of Princeton University," published by the Office of Communications.

 
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