Public Art as Artifact and Icon: The Robert Burns Statue in Fredericton

Robert Burns Monument Postcard (Fredericton, New Brunswick)

Robert Burns Monument Postcard (Fredericton, New Brunswick)

York Sunbury Historical Society evening programs take place at Old Government House (51 Woodstock Road, Fredericton) at 7:30pm on the third Thursday of most months. We can park on site and come in the side entrance and programs are free and open to the public!

Thursday, October 20 at 7:30pm: Dr. Gregg Finley

Public Art is usually understood as one or more works of art placed on display in an outdoor public space. Typically that space is free and accessible to all. Since Public Art is available to everyone, it is ironic that so many sculptures, murals and monuments are often ignored. But this is not what  happened with a piece of Public Art unveiled recently in Fredericton.

By some estimates, more than a thousand people assembled near the Beaverbrook Art Gallery to celebrate the restored statue of Scottish poet Robert Burns. The date was September 10, 2011. It became a major community event. The occasion itself and the statue that was at the centre of the  celebration are both worthy of some commentary.

Dr. Gregg Finley will speak about Public Art as Cultural History. He will explore the continuing fascination with Robbie Burns, the public campaign to restore Burns’ statue,  and the statue itself as a heritage artifact


About frederictonregionmuseum

The Fredericton Region Museum was founded in 1934 by the York-Sunbury Historical Society. The Society was formed in 1932 and now has members from all over North America, however, most are from Central New Brunswick. In 1969 the Museum found permanent headquarters in the Officer's Quarters (571 Queen Street) in the heart of downtown Fredericton. The Society and Museum remain a nonprofit enterprise with a small paid staff and numerous volunteers. They work tirelessly to create informative exhibits, organize programs and events as well as publish a local history periodical The Officers' Quarters. The Fredericton Region Museum is the home of the famous Coleman Frog. He is the 42lb wonder that lived in the Killarney Lake just north of Fredericton about 100 years ago. The Fredericton Region Museum is a gateway into the exciting history and diverse heritage of central New Brunswick. Because central New Brunswick is where the provincial capital is located, and because it served as a meeting place for Aboriginals, Loyalists, Acadian, and other European settlers, the Fredericton Region Museum is an excellent place to start. With over 4000 square feet of exhibit space and a collection of over 30,000 artefacts the museum is a fun and exciting way to look into our past.
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