Thursday, January 17, 2013

Civil Rights Memorial: Anne Sullivan & Helen Keller - Feeding Hills, MA

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller Monument
Feeding Hills, MA
Topic: Civil Rights Memorial

GPS: N42° 04.001; W072° 40.684

Quick Description: 
This monument is the second copy of the Mico Kaufman statue. It is located at the southeast corner of Springfield St. (Route 147) and South Westfield St. (Route 187) in Agawam, a short distance from where Anne Sullivan was born. 

Note: The names of Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller are not found at the memorial.

Long Description:

Anne Sullivan (1866-1936) was born on April 14, 1866 in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts. Anne, who was nearly blind from an untreated eye infection, became a student at the Perkins School for the Blind in Boston. The director of the Institute recommended her to the Keller family as a teacher for the young deafblind Helen Keller (1880-1968).

Anne Sullivan's strategy was to teach Helen to communicate by spelling words into her hand. After many unsuccessful attempts Helen finally realized that the motions Anne made in her hand, while running water over her other hand, meant "water". This moment of insight is captured in the sculpture.

Helen went on to become the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree and became a prolific author, lecturer and social activist. Anne and Helen became lifelong companions and collaborators. Their story is recounted in the 1962 Academy Award winning movie "The Miracle Worker".

Helen's image appears on the Alabama state quarter and her statue is on display at the U.S. Capitol.

This sculpture captures the moment Anne Sullivan successfully teaches Helen Keller her first word - "WATER". It is the creation of the Romanian-American sculptor Mico Kaufman and was dedicated on June 28, 1992.

Civil Right Type: Disability

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