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Columbus Park

Robert F. Kennedy Memorial map_it

History

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

This bronze bust, located in Brooklyn’s Columbus Park, depicts Attorney General, U.S. Senator, and Presidential candidate Robert Francis Kennedy (1925-1968). Sculptor Anneta Duveen created the piece, which was dedicated in 1972. It features a polished granite pedestal with four quotes from Kennedy inscribed on the base meant to inspire community action, whether it be at the local, national, or global level.

Kennedy was born in 1925, the third son of Joseph Kennedy, the patriarch of the powerful Kennedy family. His older brother, John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917–1963), served as the 35th President of the United States. Robert Kennedy served in his brother’s administration as U.S. Attorney General. After the assassination of his brother in 1963, Robert resigned from office and moved into an apartment at United Nations Plaza in Manhattan. Although he was accused of being a “carpetbagger,” Kennedy mounted a successful campaign for the United States Senate in 1964. After speaking out against the escalating war in Vietnam, Robert Kennedy ran for president in 1968. He was assassinated June 6, 1968 while campaigning in Los Angeles. The sculpture was relocated and placed in a picturesque floral surrounding as a result of renovations to Columbus Park, completed in 1994.

Photo of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial in Columbus Park Brooklyn

Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Details

  • Sculptor: Anneta Duveen
  • Description: Bust on pedestal, base
  • Materials: Bust--bronze; pedestal and base--Kitledge gray granite (New Milford, New Hampshire)
  • Dimensions: Total H: 9'3"; Base L: 6'6" W: 6'6"
  • Cast: 1972
  • Dedicated: November 2, 1972
  • Foundry: Roman Bronze Works Inc.
  • Fabricator: A. Ottavino Corp.
  • Donor: Gift
  • Inscription: 1) bust, front: "[signed] Anneta Duveen / 1971"

    2) bust, rear: "1977 / © [signed] Anneta Duveen / ROMAN BRONZE WORKS INC"

    3) pedestal, front: "SENATOR / ROBERT / FRANCIS / KENNEDY /---/ NOVEMBER 20, 1925 / JUNE 6, 1968 /---/ DEDICATED NOVEMBER 2, 1972"

    4) pedestal, left: "ANNETA DUVEEN, SC."

    5) pedestal, right: "A. OTTAVINO"

    6) base, front: "'FEW WILL HAVE THE GREATNESS TO / BEND HISTORY ITSELF, BUT EACH OF US / CAN WORK TO CHANGE A SMALL PORTION OF EVENTS, AND IN THE TOTAL OF ALL THOSE ACTS WILL / BE WRITTEN THE HISTORY OF THIS GENERATION.'" [space] RFK

    7) base, left: "'WHAT WE REQUIRE IS NOT THE SELF- / INDULGENCE OF RESIGNATION FROM THE / WORLD BUT THE HARD EFFORT TO WORK OUT / NEW WAYS OF FULFILLING OUR PERSONAL CONCERN / AND OUR PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.'" [space] RFK

    8) base, rear: "'WE MUST GET OUR OWN HOUSE IN / ORDER. WE MUST BECAUSE IT IS RIGHT. / WE MUST BECAUSE IT IS MIGHT.'" [space] RFK

    9) base, right: "'ALL GREAT QUESTIONS MUST / BE RAISED BY GREAT VOICES, AND / THE GREATEST VOICE IS THE VOICE OF / THE PEOPLE - SPEAKING OUT - IN PROSE, OR / PAINTING, OR POETRY, OR MUSIC; SPEAKING OUT - / IN HOMES AND HALLS, STREETS AND FARMS, COURTS / AND CAFES - LET THAT VOICE SPEAK AND THE STILLNESS YOU / HEAR WILL BE THE GRATITUDE OF MANKIND.'" [space] RFK

Please note, the NAME field includes a primary designation as well as alternate namings often in common or popular usage. The DEDICATED field refers to the most recent dedication, most often, but not necessarily the original dedication date. If the monument did not have a formal dedication, the year listed reflects the date of installation.

For more information, please contact Art & Antiquities at (212) 360-8143

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