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Stop #1: Phoenix

Phyllis Baker Hammond

In 1989, artist Phyllis Hammond created Phoenix at the request of the Connecticut Commission for the Arts. It was placed outside the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection which was the old Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Building at 79 Elm Street, Hartford.

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Stop #2: Stone Field, 1977

Carl Andre

Stone Field by Carl Andre was inspired by monoliths in Great Britain and across the street in Center Church Cemetery. The thirty six boulders are made of sandstone, brownstone, granite, schist, gneiss, basalt, and serpentine. They are arranged in a way so that no stone looks like the stone lying next to it.

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Stop #3: Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Building

Max Abramovitz

The Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Building project was started in 1961 by architect Max Abramovitz. Commonly known as the “Boat Building” it quickly became a recognizable figure in the Hartford skyline. Standing at 13 stories tall, the building became an important figure in the urban renewal movement.

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Stop #4: Amaryllis

Tony Smith

Created by Tony Smith, Amaryllis embodies Smith's idea of the nontraditional notions of what is pretty in nature. It was finished in 1965 and currently sits on the lawn of the Wadsworth Atheneum.

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Stop #5: Stegosaurus, 1973

Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder’s painted steel sculpture from 1973, Stegosaurus, stands at the Burr Mall in between the Wadsworth Atheneum and City Hall in downtown Hartford. The work is a culmination of a sixty-six year project that began with a grant to the city of Hartford by Ella Burr McManus to build a memorial for her father.

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Stop #6: Guardian

Bill Barrett

Bill Barrett’s 1986 fifteen-foot-tall abstract sculpture, commissioned in 1984 from the Connecticut Commission for the Arts, was intended to symbolize strength and protection, whilst bringing to light the primitive aspects of the court system.

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Stop #7: Black Lives Matter Mural Hartford (2020)

BLM 860 – Black Lives Matter 860

The Hartford Black Lives Matter street painting was created on July 26, 2020 as part of the nationwide protest movement “Black Lives Matter” that erupted following the May 25, 2020 strangulation of George Floyd in Minneapolis by police officer Derek Chauvin. The street art mural was over one hundred feet long, and was painted on the surface of Trinity Street in Bushnell Park within sight of the Connecticut State Capitol. The BLM 860 version of 2020 was replaced in 2023 when Trinity Street was repaved.

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Explore the abstract and innovative art of the 20th and 21st centuries in downtown Hartford.

The Stops

Starting at stop #1, this Walking tour is miles long.