The Irish Famine


There are two sculptures facing each other, but from a distance. On one side there is a sculpture of a man sitting down and a woman on her knees. They are both extremely skinny and have on inadequate clothing. There is also an empty bowl sitting right beside them. The man doesn't have a shirt on and both figures look overall very rough. The woman is also on her knees with her hand in the air giving the impression that she is praying. On the opposite sculpture there is a man, a woman, and a child. All three are dressed very well and look very fit. Unlike the other sculpture, all three are walking. This contrasts depicts the struggling, anxious immigrant transforming to a new life in America with opportunity and freedom. This memorial is visited by over 3 million people per year.

Between washington street and school street in Boston, Massachusetts
Boston Irish Famine Committee
Group Acknowledged: 
Irish, Irish-Americans
Historical Subject: 

This memorial reflects on Ireland during the potato famine. It shows one family that is impoverished and greatly suffering while another family is thriving because of new opportunities found in America. Some say the memorial honors Irish-Americans as they have found a way to prosper, but there are also critics that say the memorial mocks the famine itself and Irish people affected. 

Physical Aspects: 

On one side there is a wealthy family dressed in proper clothing. They look healthy and able bodied. The family consists of a man, woman, and child. On the other side there is a man and a woman. They are very impoverished as they lack proper clothing. They also lack food as there is an empty plate next to them. 

Date of Dedication: 
June 1998
Place Location: 
Boston Irish Famine Memorial
Boston Irish Famine Memorial Front.jpg