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Dr. William Pepper

Dr. William Pepper, 1895, Bronze
Karl Bitter (Austrian, 1867 – 1915)

Gross Area (sq. ft.): 65'x 44'x 55'. Seated Bronze figure on 42'W x 60'D granite base. Total 9'0'H.

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Karl Bitter’s bronze sculpture depicts Dr. William Pepper (1843-1898). Pepper contributed enormously to the University of Pennsylvania throughout his life and career. He studied and taught at Penn and later opened the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. In 1881, Dr. Pepper was unanimously elected the eleventh Provost for the University of Pennsylvania. Impressively, in the thirteen years of his administration, the University gained thirteen programs. He began sitting for this statue after paying a visit to Mr. Karl Bitter’s studio. When visiting the artist, Dr. Pepper was impressed with the artist’s personality and work. He first commissioned a bust and then this larger statue of himself. Bitter is recognized today as an important architectural sculptor who also specialized in monuments and funerary works. The pedestal was designed by Leigh Hunt and features quotes from Emerson, Benjamin Franklin’s “Poor Richard’s Almanac”, and Dr. Pepper himself: “You and I must pass away, but these things will last.”

Location: Class of '55 Courtyard, Wynn Commons, Perelman Quadrangle, Philadelphia PA

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