Jonathan Borofsky
Hammering Man
1991

LOCATION
Seattle Art Museum (Corner of 1st Avenue and University Street)
100 University St.

FUNDING SOURCE
Seattle Art Museum 1% for Art, City Light 1% for Art, the Virginia Wright Fund, and contributors of the Seattle Art Museum


In 1986 Seattle voters approved a public levy to provide funding for the design and construction of a new downtown Seattle Art Museum. The 1% for Art funds generated by the public levy were matched with other 1% for Art funds and donations from museum contributors to create "In Public: Seattle 1991," a city wide celebration of public art. This project, the largest in the history of the Seattle Arts Commission, brought artists from around the world to create permanent and temporary works in various sites throughout Seattle. Internationally recognized artist Jonathan Borofsky was selected to create a major work for the entryway of the new downtown Seattle Art Museum building designed by Robert Venturi.

The 48-foot-high black silhouette sculpture is a worker. The Hammering Man celebrates the worker's contribution to society. He or she is the village craftsman, the South African coal miner, the computer operator, the farmer or the aerospace worker--the people who produce the commodities on which we depend.

This sculpture is the second largest Hammering Man on the planet. A taller version is in Frankfurt, Germany. Borofsky's goal is to have several different Hammering Men placed around the world--all working simultaneously. Other big outdoor versions of this work are in Japan and Switzerland. In the United States there are Hammering Man sculptures in New York, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Washington D.C., among other places.