Barney Zeitz

Public Works, Memorials

RFD 595A
State Rd.
Vineyard Haven,Ma.
Martha's Vineyard
(508) 693-9421

Wang Center

This sculpture was commissioned by the Walter Suskind Foundation for the Wang Center for the Performing Arts in Boston. Walter Suskind was a Dutch citizen who smuggled 1200 children out of a daycare center in Amsterdam during the Holocaust before he was killed by the Nazis. Fifty years later, this foundation was started to honor his heroism by bringing city children to the Wang Center (Young At Arts) to work with professionals in drama, painting and writing.

Barney Zeitz was asked to design a sculpture to honor Walter Suskind to be placed in a marble niche in the lobby. There was a poem written on the back wall of the niche, and Barney suggested taking the poem off the wall and incorporating it into the design of the sculpture. He tried to symbolize what sacrifice Suskind made to save the children by having a metal shield in front of a glass shield. The poem goes from a dark, difficult feeling on the metal shield, to a hopeful, more positive feeling on the glass shield. Zeitz tried to build the sculpture using suggestions from the poem. "I feel the fingertips of your outstretching hand".
The metal fabrication is all hand cut, forged, and welded steel. Zeitz applied bronze to the surface of the steel with torches. The stained glass is fused and slumped onto a steel mold.