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Big Head of Arthur Fiedler.

Big Head of Arthur Fiedler

Field review by the editors.

Boston, Massachusetts

Arthur Fiedler conducted the Boston Pops Orchestra for 50 years and was the best-known classical musician in America, much to the chagrin of many other classical musicians, who saw him as something of a lightweight. Five years after he died in 1979, artist Ralph Helmick built this memorial Fiedler head, made of 84 stacked aluminum plates (Fiedler was 84 when he died), and unveiled it near the band shell where the Boston Pops performed their free summer concerts -- a Fielder innovation that was considered radical in its time.

Helmick designed the head to appear normal at a distance, but grow blurry and indistinct as a visitor approached it, providing a visual parallel to Fiedler himself, who had some unexpected quirks. Despite his warm appearance, for example, Fiedler was a curmudgeon, he didn't particularly like children, and was known in Boston for his habit of racing to the scene of local fires in his own firetruck, just to watch the firemen in action.

Big Head of Arthur Fiedler

Address:
Charles River Esplanade, Boston, MA
Directions:
On the south side of the Dr. Paul Dudley White Pike Path, where it meets the Charles River Esplanade.
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