Photograph by Phil Mansfield
The Hudson River used to teem with live versions of the creature to which this statue pays homage. In fact, this fish was so important to Hudson Valley industry during the 1800s and early 1900s that it was commonly referred to as “Albany Beef,” and, circa 1940, Franklin Delano Roosevelt commissioned a mural of three fishermen netting it for the Hyde Park Post Office. Overfishing and pollution once pushed it to the brink of extinction, but today it’s making a robust comeback in local waters.
Now, the statue in question is larger than that of its in-the-flesh counterpart, measuring in at a whopping 12 feet tall. And it’s composed of slightly… unconventional materials: more than 1,700 pieces of recycled cutlery — forks, spoons, and knives. But let’s just say that the materials are befitting the statue’s home.
It was crafted by Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts-based artist John Sendelbach, and its eyes are hand-blown glass made by Jeremy Sinkus. Sendelbach says it took 300 hours of manpower to build the stainless-steel structure, consisting of a pedestal, base, and armature to which the mélange of silverware is welded. “Achieving anatomical correctness,” he says, “was the biggest challenge.”
Can you identify the name, species, and location of this new statue? Submit your answer to the form below. The first reader with the correct response wins a prize. Good luck!