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Have You Seen These Sculptures? Unexpected Public Art in Philadelphia Honoring Composers

Bust of Franz Schubert by Henry Baerer, 1891 in West Fairmount Park, east of Horticultural Hall. Bronze sculpture with limestone base and granite with bronze plaque.

Among the hundreds of outdoor sculptures that dot Philadelphia’s urban landscape are three classical music masters. But, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, they’re not where you might expect to find them.

In Philadelphia’s West Fairmount Park, a bust of early 19th-century Austrian composer Franz Schubert, unveiled in 1891, stares down a path flanked by two lions. Not far away, another Austrian, Joseph Haydn,  appears to be looking off into the brush that today buffers the park from the Schuylkill Expressway below. And, just around the bend, Giuseppe Verdi is nestled in the trees. A curious cluster of classical composers in a corner that was not always so remote.

Susan Lewis' Interview with Association for Public Art Executive Director Penny Bach.

Philadelphia's Association for Public Art "Museum without Walls" program provides downloadable audio tours to selected works in Philadelphia.

More about the Association for Public Art

Susan writes and produces stories about music and the arts. She’s host and producer of WRTI’s TIME IN online interview series, and contributes weekly intermission interviews for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert series. She’s also been a regular host of WRTI’s Live from the Performance Studio sessions.