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Peace Symbol

Peace Symbol, 1969, Steel
Robert Engman (American, born 1927)

Gross Area (sq. ft.): 156" x 104" x 3".

Stainless steel, welded. Designed and fabricated by 8 U of P Fine Arts students. Linquist was primary and R. Engman supervised.

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Many of Robert Engman’s pieces can be found on Penn’s campus. While they are all striking accomplishments, Peace Symbol has unquestionably had the most impact on Penn’s campus. Peace Symbol, located right outside Penn’s Van Pelt Library, has had a meaningful and dramatic history. The brushed stainless steel sculpture was designed and welded by Engman and eight University of Pennsylvania Fine Arts students. Installed in 1969, the sculpture served as a symbol of student protest activity during the Vietnam War. Students would often gather at the Peace Symbol and hold anti-war demonstrations and petitions to confront the University’s lack of an official stance toward the War. The Peace Symbol was later the site of a tragic death; in 1996, the political activist Kathy Change committed suicide through self-immolation in front of the sculpture. Annual memorial events have occurred at the site ever since.

Location: Van Pelt Library, Blanche Levy Park, Philadelphia PA

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