About the Sculpture
North Square Stories Public Artwork
North Square Stories public artwork taps into four main narrative threads that are echoed in the varied and significant architectural and physical features of the Square: pre-industrial Boston; maritime stories; stories of immigration and habitation; and cultural feasts and ceremonies. Subjects and motifs include a relief sculpture of an 18th century panoramic view of North Square with wharves and city skyline beyond (1798 North Square View); a North End map highlighting local features and history (North End Story Map); a diorama street scene with a window onto culture and traditions (What We Brought With Us); and a whimsical viewing instrument with discoverable maritime stories (Fantastical Historical Nautical Instrument). All of the sculptures include boats and many other maritime references in recognition of this area’s deep and ancient ties to the surrounding sea. An engraved ‘N’ in the paving indicates north; a compass ‘N’ appears in North End Story Map and in Fantastical Historical Nautical Instrument – which also has a working sundial.
Each sculpture is an intimate focal point intended to be experienced at close range. The sculptures are placed site-specifically and they derive meaning from their orientation and relationship to features in and around North Square. They give us a big view from a small space. There are many overlaps, connections and relationships to be discovered. We hope visitors will spend time exploring the connections between the sculptures and to the history of the surrounding neighborhood and city.