Beautiful Boston features moving sculptures of the heroes of a budding nation as well as modern pieces that blend beautifully into the centuries-old feel of the city. However, Boston suffers from the same problem that most cities have — not all public art is aesthetically pleasing or makes sense. Five of those public art pieces are just too fun to miss out on. Start here to explore the eclectic side of the city.
63 Court St.
Boston, MA 02108The Scollay Square Tea Kettle is about as bizarre and plain as public art can get. It really is just a giant tea kettle. The worst part is that it hovers over passersby as if ready to pour scalding hot tea on people in retribution for Boston’s nefarious past with the British drink the sculpture represents. It was made by Hicks & Badger in 1873 for the Oriental Tea Company. The company is long gone, but its sign remains as an ever-lasting reminder.
Revere Street at Rollins Place
Boston, MA 02114As bizarre public art goes, the Scarlett O’Hara House is not an eyesore, but your eyes will certainly question themselves when you see it. Peer down Rollins Place to see a two-story Greek Revival town house nestled at the end with pristine white columns and a lovely stoop. It is quite nice to look at, but approaching it, which is trespassing (and we don’t recommend), reveals only a wall. This “house” is actually just an optical illusion painted on a flat wall at the end of an alley.
University of Massachusetts Plaza
Boston, MA 02125-3393″Lagartos” is a garishly colorful sculpture by Luis Jiminez in the plaza at the UMass Boston campus that cannot be missed. It is a fiberglass representation of what appears to be three crocodiles or alligators, all oddly colored, upon a lump of water. What is most confusing about this sculpture is why it is sitting on a New England university campus. It would certainly be more at home at the aquarium or in Florida.
Cambridge, MA 02141This piece of public art is just baffling. Respect for animals is great. So is respect for art and continuity, but lions and tigers and … Elvira? Oh, yes, this wall mural has all of that and much more. This 1999 work of art is appropriately painted on the side of a nut factory, but theoretically has a good message at its core.
Edward Everett Square
Dorchester, Boston, MA 02122At the corner of Edward Everett Square in Dorchester stands a 12-foot pear. It is meant to commemorate the large pear orchard that once stood in the area, as well as the Clapp family, which cultivated the Clapp pear. The statue is not poorly done or especially distasteful, it just looks awfully out of place. Without the pear trees to give visitors a back-story, it just looks like a random giant pear.
Shelly Barclay is a professional freelance writer and amateur author. She writes on a variety of topics from food to mysteries. She loves to share the culture and rich history of her birthplace and home, Boston, with the rest of the world. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.