Public Art ~ Rhode Island Irish Famine Memorial ~ Providence

Rhode Island Irish Famine Memorial
Riverwalk near Dyer and Hay Streets
Providence, Rhode Island

Irish Famine Memorial by I {heart} Rhody
by Erika Smith
via Robert Shure

A proud and trepidatious man steps onto the soil of a new land. He looks to a brighter future. Behind him kneels a barefoot woman holding a dead or dying man. They represent the suffering of the past and the hope of the future, and are the most prominent piece of the Irish Famine Memorial.

We discovered the memorial quite by accident back in 2008. It was a lovely summer day and we were exploring the riverfront, and there it was.

The sculpture was created by Robert Shure in Woburn, Mass. Shure has created other monuments as well, including a relief of George Washington in profile that graces the Washington Monument in D.C.

The Memorial is a welcoming spot, with benches to sit, and places in both sun and shade. There are several markers, including a set of plaques that explain the dedication. You'll find the full text at the Irish Famine Memorial Committee's webpage.

Irish Famine Memorial by Erika Smith, via I {heart} Rhody

"This memorial is dedicated to the victims and survivors of the Great Irish Famine of 1845-1851. It also pays tribute to their immigrant descendants who, generation after generation, have so greatly enriched the life of America in general and of Rhode Island in particular..."
There's also a small plaque specifically dedicated to speakers of Irish Gaelic, written in both English and Irish.

via Irish Famine Memorial Committee

You can trace the migration of the Irish on an inlaid map on the ground.


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