Sunday, January 25, 2015

Poet: Robert Burns - Albany, NY

Robert Burns
Albany, NY

N 42° 39.303 W 073° 46.080

Short Description: 

A seated sculpture of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns, is located in Washington Park in Albany, NY.

Long Description:

The poet and lyricist Robert Burns was born on January 25, 1759 in Alloway, Scotland. He was mostly home schooled and wrote his first poem when he was fifteen years old. He published his first book, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, in 1786. The book became an instant success and he became known as the great peasant poet. His interest in preserving the Scottish heritage inspired Burns to spend the last twelve years of his life collecting, editing and creating traditional folk songs for the publication Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs featuring such well known standards as "Auld Lang Syne" and "My Love is Like a Red Red Rose".

The life-size bronze sculpture of Robert Burns created by Charles Calverley and designed by George Broughton, depicts the poet seated wearing a long cloak and holding a tam o'shanter by his side in his left hand. The sculpture rests on a 7.5' by 6.5' by x 9' granite base. The base is inscribed with the single word BURNS. Relief sculptures on each face of the base depict scenes from four of his most famous works:

"The Cotter's Saturday Night" - a family gathered reading a book.

"The Poet Plowman and the Daisy" - Burns with a horse and plow and a dog

"Tam O'Shanter" - man riding on a horse.

"Auld Lang Syne" - two men shaking hands over a drink.

The sculpture was dedicated on September 30, 1888 and the relief sculptures were added in April 1991. The original sculpture $40,000 and was erected with funds from the McPherson Legacy.

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