Bronze, Bathed in Sunlight

June 10, 2016
Communications Staff
A bronze statue of a boy playing with a dolphin crowns the marble fountain on the lawn of Oberlin’s Allen Memorial Art Museum. The fountain honors Katharine Wright Haskell, Class of 1898 and sister of Orville and Wilbur Wright. Photo credit: Yvonne Gay

When visiting Oberlin’s Allen Memorial Art Museum, visitors are welcomed by the Italian hand-cut marble fountain and statue on the front lawn. The fountain, first installed in 1931 and restored in 2007, is a donation from Henry Haskell, Class of 1896, in honor of his wife Katharine Wright Haskell. Younger sister to the legendary Orville and Wilbur Wright, many believe Katharine’s devotion and advocacy pushed them to be the first to fly. She graduated from Oberlin in 1898 with a teaching degree, and became the second woman ever elected to Oberlin’s Board of Trustees.

Gracing the fountain is a bronze statue of an angel playing with a dolphin—an exact replica of the ca. 1470 sculpture by the Italian master Andrea del Verrocchio, which Katharine and her husband had seen atop the fountain in the courtyard of the Palazzo Vecchio on a trip to Florence.

Be sure to get a good look during the summer and warmer months, though, as the fountain is covered to protect it in the winter.

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