Hank Willis Thomas Picked to Create Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King Monument for Boston

Rendering of “The Embrace” designed by Hank Willis Thomas with MASS Design Group.
Rendering of “The Embrace” designed by Hank Willis Thomas with MASS Design Group.
(King Boston)

Hank Willis Thomas was selected as the winner of a competition for a public monument in Boston to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King. The Kings met in Boston while he was attending theology school at Boston University and she was a student at the New England Conservatory of Music in the early 1950s. 

The non-profit organization King Boston will place Thomas' 22-foot high memorial sculpture of intertwined arms in Boston Common, with a schedule to unveil it in 2020. The piece was conceived in response to photographs of the Kings locking arms during civil rights-era marches. 

Boston-based firm MASS Design Group will collaborate on the piece with the artist.

Thomas said in a statement: “Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King are monumental examples of the capacity of love to shape society. I can only hope The Embrace can be a reminder and a call to action to each of us to never forget what they’ve taught us.”

The design by Thomas beat over 126 applications. 

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