Last Look

The bird has landed

For Cross Campus, an evocative modern sculpture.

Mark Zurolo ’01MFA

Mark Zurolo ’01MFA

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It’s a bird, a prophet, and a surrealist sculpture: Habakuk, by the renowned artist Max Ernst (1891–1976). The bronze work, 15 feet high, is one of four cast; it was donated to Yale by Jeffrey Loria ’62 in 2005 and installed on Cross Campus last fall, in honor of the inauguration of Peter Salovey ’86PhD as Yale’s 23rd president. Named after a prophet of the Hebrew Bible who is remembered for openly questioning the wisdom of God, the sculpture makes for a striking contrast with the neo-Gothic structures that flank it, especially since both Habakuk and the buildings were designed in the early 1930s. Pam Franks, the Yale Art Gallery’s curator of modern and contemporary art, describes the Ernst sculpture as “wonderfully suited to this educational setting,” because it looks back to tradition through the reference to the Hebrew prophet yet embraces innovation through Ernst’s modernist vocabulary. As for the avian look: Ernst was fascinated by birds.

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