Washington DC, A to Z: Thinker on a Rock and The Drummer

After starting our day on the National Mall at the Smithsonian Castle, Jimmy and I split up. He headed northwest to the American History Museum and I headed northeast to see art.  Walking through the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, I overheard parts of a phone conversation that went something like this. “I’ve been waiting for you for 10 minutes at the statue of the large bunny… What do you mean you’re at the statue of the large bunny?…”

Hopefully, they figured out that on the National Mall there are two sculpture gardens and each garden has a statue of a large rabbit by artist Barry Flanagan.

Thinker on a Rock (1997) and The Drummer (1989-1990)
artist: Barry Flanagan

Thinker on a Rock is located in the Sculpture Garden of the National Gallery of Art. It is located in the middle of the north side of the National Mall (between the Museum of Natural History and the National Gallery of Art). The Drummer is located in the Sculpture Garden of the Hirshhorn Museum. It is located directly south of the other sculpture garden (in front  of the Hirshhorn Museum).

These sculptures might look familiar, even if you haven’t been to Washington DC. From 1979 to 2008, Barry Flanagan created many bronze sculptures that  featured hares doing human-like things: drumming, thinking, leaping, dancing, boxing.  For each, Flanagan modelled a figure of a hare in soft clay.  The clay model was then cast into bronze sculptures, usually in a series of from 5 to 8, that retain the marks he made by hand in the clay. Flanagans sculptures are on display throughout the world, maybe even in a place closer to where you are than Washington DC.

 Thinker on a Rock was cast in 1997 in a series of five.In addition to the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, this sculpture is currently on public view at the following locations:

The Drummer was cast in 1989 and 1990 in a series of seven. In addition to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, this sculpture is currently on public view at the following locations:

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8 thoughts on “Washington DC, A to Z: Thinker on a Rock and The Drummer

  1. It's funny but really easy to understand how it could happen. It's easy to get disoriented on the Mall. And if you've never seen a Flanagan hare statue before it would be easy to assume that big bunny statue would be a good enough description.

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  2. OMG Love these bunnies!!! Rodin eat your heart out:) These are great and much better to look at than the big spider outside the Ottawa art museum (supposed to represent mother…really!)

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