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Memorial Union Memorial Union: The Transcendent Tower

Figured in Stone: The Arcade Sculptures of Memorial Tower

Bearing the Burden

This semi-nude male is the mythological figure Atlas, the Titan who had to bear the weight of the world on his shoulders. Zeus punished Atlas with this burden because Atlas supported the Titans in the war between the Titans and Zeus. While Zeus is not portrayed in this sculpture, his role is understood by his attribute, the thunderbolt, which Atlas holds in his right hand. In this depiction, Atlas violently twists his torso as he struggles to support Memorial Tower’s north wall. Palm foliage also surrounds him. A Roman symbol of victory, the palm became a Christian symbol of rejoicing, victory, and martyrdom.

Bearing the Burden

Bearing the Burden

Memorial Union Exhibition

Exhibition Home

History of Memorial Tower

Making the Memorial

In Memoriam

Signs, Symbols, and Seals: The Sculpture of Memorial Tower

Figured in Stone: The Arcade Sculptures of Memorial Tower

Tradition: Tipping the Cap

 

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