Newton, Massachusetts-based Nancy Schön (b. 1928) is an international sculptor of whimsical animals, best known for her bronze duck and ducklings in Boston’s Public Garden. This series of sculptures is her recreation of the duck family in Robert McCloskey’s classic children’s book, Make Way for Ducklings. Schön’s sculptures are designed for people to touch, sit on, hug and interact with every day of the year. In addition to Make Way for Ducklings, Shön created a bronze Tortoise and Hare which is a metaphor for the Boston Marathon, located at race’s the finish line in Copley Square. Nancy married Donald Schön in 1952 and feels their work was very similar. Donald’s writing about “reflection in action” parallels the process of creating a sculpture as the professional reflects on their practice in the midst of practice in order to problem solve. As Nancy creates a work of art, her research is a quest for knowledge and of understanding issues and of learning. “We learn so much from our inquiry but as my husband said, ‘we know more than we can say’ and I would always say back to him that I think our unconscious is brilliant!” Nancy was recently awarded an honorary doctor of law degree from Mount Ida College in honor of her work in public sculpture.
I dropped off a wax at the Green Foundry in Eliot, Maine last week. There is a lovely sculpture show on the grounds, which is adjacent to Sanctuary Arts. I was reminded of foundry days at Andrew DeVries‘s River Studio, where my early work was cast.