Marianna Pineda’s Sculptures Create Connections

While museums everywhere, including deCordova Sculpture Park, were closed for the past two months, I began to look more closely at the art that was still accessible in my neighborhood. Fortunately for me that includes the grounds of Harvard University, within those Radcliffe Yard.

IMG_6941 M Pineda Oracle Portentous crop

There among other areas with intriguing art is the Alexandra D. Korry Sculpture Garden around Marianna Pineda‘s Oracle Portentous. Pineda was among the first fellows (1962-1964) of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She donated and dedicated this bronze work in memory of the institute’s first director Constance Smith.

As I began to recognize the choreographic qualities that characterize Pineda’s sculptures, I also sensed some burdon of longing for the more physically forceful female presence, Pineda’s Eve Celebrant, that had become so familiar to me during decades at deCordova.

That emotional response drove me to drive out at the first opportunity to re-enter deCordova grounds (May 19, 2020) and climb the hill to stand before Eve Celebrant. I wanted so certainly to see her ambiguous hand signals and forward stride as welcoming, for once I felt sure that Eve truly wanted us to enter Alice’s Garden, though watchfully!


  1. Sharon McBride · · Reply

    So interesting to look at the juxtaposition of these two figures! I went to the deCordova website to check on the date of Eve Celebrant — 1991 –more than 25 years after creating Oracle Portentous. Quite a lot happened during that time in the women’s movement! In Oracle, the figure seems so weighted down — perhaps by what she can see in the future. But in Eve, she’s striding forward, proudly holding her apple, looking like she’s totally in control of who or what will enter her garden.
    (pretty sure she would want you to enter, Deb!)

    Your passion for outdoor art is contagious. Thanks!


    1. Thank you, Sharon, for beautifully articulating the points that were waiting to be clarified!


  2. […] especially grateful for the outdoor art in Radcliffe Yard. I managed to post about one sculpture (Marianna Pineda’s Oracle Portentous) then, with intentions to mention more. Here now is a broader view that encompasses other […]


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