Leviathan (1963)

by Seymour Lipton (1903-1986)

  • Title


  • Artist

    Seymour Lipton (1903-1986)

  • Year

    1963; installed 1969

  • Location

    Plaza at 16th Street between Market Street and JFK Boulevard

  • Medium

    Nickel silver on Monel metal, with granite base

  • Dimensions

    Heigh 3'4" (base 7'10.5")

Purchased through City Planning Commission with support from National Endowment for the Arts

Owned by the City of Philadelphia

Leviathan is the sea monster mentioned in the Bible, often identified with the whale or crocodile. “None is so fierce that dare stir him up,” Jehovah warns Job; “He maketh the deep to boil.” Seymor Lipton’s sculpture uses a stylized whale form to explore the primal forces of nature. The material, Monel metal (a white bronze alloy consisting of nickel, copper, iron, and manganese), was one of Lipton’s favorite media; he achieved the unusual texture by spreading molten nickel over the surface.

Leviathan was exhibited in Penn Center during the 1967 “Art for the City” project. In 1969 it was purchased through the City Planning Commission with grant funds received from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Adapted from Public Art in Philadelphia by Penny Balkin Bach (Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1992).


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