Campus Art Walk: ‘Pan with Sundial’

Throughout the 2008-09 academic year, the Current will be taking a look at the stories behind some of Penn’s most well-known, and most obscure, pieces of public art. The tour continues with “Pan with Sundial.”

In 1938, Mrs. William Stansfield presented the bronze statue, “Pan with Sundial,” to the University in memory of her husband, an alum from the class of 1902. The work is by Philadelphia native Beatrice Fenton, a figurative sculptor and portraitist who studied at the School of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Fenton exhibited her work as the 11th member of the “Philadelphia Ten”—a group of women artists—as well as at the Art Institute of Chicago, the 1939 New York City World’s Fair and, in 1976, the Philadelphia Museum of Art. From 1942 to 1953, Fenton taught sculpture at the Moore Institute of Art.

The expressive “Pan” sculpture stands in the Class of 1972 Reading Garden, by the southwest corner of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library. Sometime after the sculpture was dedicated, the actual sundial, (known as a gnomon) was lost, but was replaced under the guidance of Jacqueline Jacovini, the University curator, who supervised the restoration of many campus sculptures in the 1990s.