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Family of Man

Family of Man, 1961
Constantino Nivola (Italian, 1911 – 1988)

Nivola is renowned for his large scale, abstracted sculptures made from his own invented process of sand-casting and cement carving. His early exposure to both stone masonry and fresco painting allowed him to later mesh the two, creating compelling 3- dimensional murals that seem to emerge from the walls themselves. Nivola attributed his unique sand-casting technique to inspiration while playing with his children, who fashioned sandcastles from packed wet sand. 

Nivola left his town of Sardinia during Fascism's sweep across Italy, moving first to Paris in 1938 and shortly after to the United States in 1939. By 1954, Nivola was named director of Harvard's Design Workshop and the Harvard Graduate School of design. 

 This piece, currently next to the Van Pelt Library, is comprised of two cast-concrete bas-reliefs, with abstracted forms that allude to family groupings.