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Forest Park

Job map_it

History

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

This five-foot tall bronze statue of Job, mounted on a two-foot high schist and concrete base is one of two casts of a sculpture created by Nathan J. Rapoport (1911-1987) for the 1968 celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. Both were acquired by Dr. Murray and Sylvia Fuhrman, former residents of Kew Gardens, who donated one to Yad Vashem, Israel’s National Holocaust Museum, in Jerusalem. The other stood in the Fuhrmans’ garden until 1986, when they donated it to the City of New York. In the following year, Job was installed in Forest Park, just south of the Overlook, the borough head-quarters for Parks in Queens.

Rapoport chose to depict the figure of Job, the biblical character whose story is told in the Old Testament, to convey the universal suffering and ultimate test of faith that was visited upon the victims of the Holocaust. According to the Book of Job, the "perfect and upright man," is bereft of his family, his possessions, and even his health when the devil challenges the depth of his piety. Wrapped in a torn prayer shawl, with his head tilted heavenward and his hands clasped together, Job questions God’s justice in rewarding his faith with despair. In the Bible, Job’s life is subsequently restored to its former happy state.

Rapoport was born in Poland and studied at the Warsaw Academy of Art and the École Superieure Nationale de Beaux Arts in Paris, France. He escaped the Nazis by fleeing to Russia in 1939 at the outbreak of World War II. Rapoport lived in France and Israel before coming to America in 1959. A resident of Manhattan, he became a United States citizen in 1965. Rapoport’s art was profoundly influenced by the Holocaust. One of his most celebrated works is Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, a 33-foot high memorial that was erected in 1948 at the site where the Jewish uprising against the Nazis began in February 1943. Rapoport was awarded the Herbert Adams medal for outstanding achievement in American sculpture by the National Sculpture Society in May 1987, less than a month before he died.

Photo of a statue of Job in Forest Park, Queens

Job Details

  • Location: West of 80th Road and Park Lane South junction, near Administration Building
  • Sculptor: Natan J. Rapoport
  • Description: Standing figure (life size), integral plinth
  • Materials: Bronze, darkly mottled schist
  • Dimensions: Sculpture H: 5'5" W: 1'9" D: 7"; Base H: 1'5" W: 3'9" D: 3'1"
  • Cast: 1967
  • Dedicated: August 3, 1997
  • Foundry: Modern Art Foundry
  • Donor: Dr. and Mrs. Murray Fuhrman

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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