The Embrace

Boston, Massachusetts
The Embrace stands as a memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, commemorating their enduring legacy in the heart of Boston.
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Installed on Boston Common in December 2022, The Embrace stands as a significant memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, commemorating their enduring legacy in the heart of Massachusetts. Crafted by renowned artist Hank Willis Thomas, this bronze sculpture depicts four intertwined arms, symbolizing the iconic embrace shared by the Kings after Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

This monumental artwork, spanning 20 feet in height and 25 feet in width, weighs an impressive 19 tons. Its intricate design, comprised of approximately 609 smaller pieces welded together, intricately captures the essence of unity and love embodied by the Kings. Adorned with intricate details such as buttons on the sleeves and a bracelet on the wrist, the sculpture serves as a poignant tribute to the Kings’ commitment to nonviolence and their pivotal role in the civil rights movement.

Situated within the 1965 Freedom Plaza, The Embrace finds its rightful place among 69 individuals recognized for their contributions to civil rights in Boston. Nestled within the historic Boston Common, this circular plaza serves as a fitting backdrop for contemplation and reflection, situated between the Boston Common Visitor’s Center and the Boston Massacre Monument.

The journey to bring The Embrace to fruition was a collaborative effort spanning years of planning and meticulous execution. In 2017, the Boston Foundation and Embrace Boston launched a call for proposals, ultimately selecting Hank Willis Thomas’ visionary design from a pool of 126 submissions. With Mass Design Group at the helm, the sculpture was meticulously crafted and installed with utmost care and precision.

Despite its noble intentions, The Embrace has faced criticism from both critics and the public alike. Many have voiced concerns over the sculpture’s abstract portrayal and perceived omission of the Kings’ full likenesses. However, supporters of the artwork have praised its symbolic significance and the message of unity it represents.

As The Embrace continues to spark dialogue and contemplation, it serves as a reminder of the enduring power of love, unity, and collective action. Amidst the vibrant tapestry of Boston’s cultural landscape, this monumental sculpture stands as a testament to the Kings’ profound impact on history and their unwavering commitment to justice and equality.


Address: 139 Tremont St, Boston, Massachusetts
Place GPS Coordinates: 42.354944, -71.064389
Parking GPS Coordinates: 42.354944, -71.064389
Parking Notes: The most convenient parking for visitors of The Embrace is the Boston Common Garage. Other options nearby include street parking, parking garages, and parking lots.

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