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Today there is controversy about the meaning of sculptures built as public monuments. Ultimately the value of any sculpture is not what it tells us politically but what it tells us about the human condition. This exciting talk with William Nettleship '67CC will first consider four well-known monuments in public places that were made with a political purpose specific to their time but that continue to appeal to us because of their value as art. William will then discuss three memorials that he built. They are unorthodox by traditional standards, but nevertheless do have a cultural meaning. One of them is in memory of a child who died young, another is in memory of a now vanished landscape, and the third is a visual reminder of an annual ceremony at a university.
William has had an ambition to make sculpture since a very young age. He was happy to have the opportunity to attend Columbia, because of his belief that art is a humanistic discipline and that artists benefit from a wide-ranging liberal education that includes history, philosophy and literature. In the course of his career, he has built public sculptures for outdoor and indoor settings. He has joined a number of design team projects for large scale public amenities. The core of his studio practice has been art that examines landscape as a subject of sculpture.