The Embrace

Monday, March 4, 2019 - Boston MA US

The Embrace by Hank Willis Thomas and MASS Design Group is the winner of the King Boston art contest for the memorial which will be built on the Boston Common. See images here, and our press release here.

Over 126 teams from the around the world applied to be considered for this memorial, and in May 2018, our Art Committee narrowed the field down to five teams. Those teams then worked summer 2018 on their proposals, and we then put those proposals on display from September 18th to October 16th, 2018, at The Boston Public Library in Copley Square, and at the Bruce C. Bolling Building in Roxbury MA.

There were three types of evaluation used for our process, and all three chose The Embrace! First, The Embrace was the favorite from over 1,000 people who wrote in last fall to provide their feedback. You can read excerpts here. Second, the Art Committee also chose The Embrace for these reasons:

  1. The Embrace best captures the spirit of both Martin and Coretta, whose lives together began in Boston.
  2. The Embrace was deemed the most beautiful, and the one which would stand the test of time for generations ahead.
  3. The Embrace represents love, starting with the love we have for our family, and extended to others. Love was always the core message of the Kings' sermons, talks and writings.

Finally, The Embrace was deemed the most likely to be built for our target budget of $3-4M, leaving money for the King Center for Economic Justice in Roxbury, a center and programs we will design in 2019.

Read more about our art process here.

Press coverage: WBUR, Maria Garcia; Boston Globe, Jeremy C. Fox and Jon Chesto; Boston Globe, Adrian Walker; Curbed Boston, Tom Acitelli; Architectural Digest, Meaghan O'Neill; Boston Herald, Brooks Sutherland; CNN, Matthew Robinson; WBUR, Callum Borchers and Zoe Mitchell.

Want to get involved, helping us raise the money for the King Center, or to advise us? Contact us.