"The Great Mother" and "The Great Doctor" alive and well

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Waldemar Raemisch greatmother
Waldemar Raemisch, The Great Mother
Dedicated: 1955
Location: Youth Study Center, 20th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Bronze, on concrete bases
Maximum height 11’4″ (bases 3′); width of each group approximately 20′; depth 5′

An email arrived Oct. 1, a sort of all points bulletin from sculptor Stephen Robin:

Hi Everyone –

I’m writing on behalf of a long gone, but I hope not entirely forgotten sculptor, Waldemar Raemisch. Unless I missed something, in all the discussion of the Barnes relocation, and the consequent destruction of
the Youth Study Center, nothing has been said about the fate of the Raemisch sculptures The Great Mother and The Great Doctor.

I thought – If no one else is going to mention then – I better. I grew
up with these sculptures, and think they’re wonderful. The architecture
of the YSC, never deserved them. If nothing is said, they will likely
“disappear.”

I don’t think the sculptures are at all site dependent, and would look
great, and no doubt Better, anywhere else. Anywhere other than storage!
– or worse!

I hope this will start a discussion.

The Raemisch pieces were dedicated in 1955, and are the last of the artist’s works. He taught at RISD, and was a refugee from Nazi Germany, according to the Department of Public Property web site.

One of the recipients of Robin’s email was the great Susan Davis, Director of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority’s Percent for Art program. She didn’t know the answer but forwarded the question to Margot Berg in the Public Art Division of City Hall.

Waldemar Raemisch greatdotor
Raemisch, The Great Doctor
Location: Youth Study Center, 20th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Bronze, on concrete bases
Maximum height 11’4″ (bases 3′); width of each group approximately 20′; depth 5′

Here’s Margot’s answer:

Definitely not forgotten! We are planning to move the sculptures to the new High School for the Future on 40th and Parkside in Fairmount Park. Both pieces, to the left of the main entrance path, parallel to the building. We have been wrestling with the funding source for the relocation, but are moving ahead. It is a very fitting site for the pieces, and I hope to take it to the Fairmount Park Commission for approval in November.

Margot Berg

Berg’s signature also provided this web site, Philadelphia Public Art.

Tags

philadelphia, public art, waldemar raemisch

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