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Washington State

Hammering Man

The sculpture of the Hammering Man stands in front of the Seattle Art Museum
The sculpture of the Hammering Man stands in front of the Seattle Art Museum


As part of the City of Seattle's public arts program, The Seattle Arts Commission installed Hammering Man on September 12, 1992 at the entrance to the Robert Venturi designed Seattle Art Museum at First Avenue and University Street.

There are numerous Hammering Man sculptures of different sizes all over the world including New York, Los Angeles, Germany and Japan.
Seattle's is 48 feet high and weighs 26,000 pounds.
Each Hammering Man is marked with a unique number.
The Hammering Man's arm "hammers" silently and smoothly four times per minute from 7 am to 10 pm every day.
It runs on a 3-hp electric motor set on an automatic timer. Hammering Man rests its arm each evening and every year on Labor Day.

About the Artist

Jonathan Borofsky was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1942. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University in 1964, he studied at Ecole de Fontainbleau in Paris. In 1966 he received a Master's degree from Yale School of Art and Architecture. Having lived and worked in New York and Los Angeles, he moved to Maine in 1992 to return to his roots on the East Coast. Over the years he has created a wide range of works in diverse materials but at the core of his endeavor lies the act of "Counting from One to Infinite," which he began in 1969 and continues to the present. During the 1990s, he completed over 20 public art installations, including a 100-foot tall version of "Molecule Man" for the Allianz insurance company in Berlin.

He has had a one-man exhibition at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York as well as at other important museums in the world. His major monumental sculptures can be viewed in Los Angeles, Kassel Germany, Basel Switzerland and other cities.




Document Information
Source: Seattle CVB;
Last modified: 20100522
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