Massachusetts General Hospital Sundial – Boston, Massachusetts - Atlas Obscura

Massachusetts General Hospital Sundial

Designed to honor all those that work as nurses around the globe.  


Right next to the Massachusetts General Hospital and outside the Wang Ambulatory Care Center, is a small sculpture consisting of three figures of women standing in front of each other with arms outstretched, holding an object, and reaching into the sky. In addition to being a small art display, this sculpture is also a sundial with an interesting backstory.

The sculpture was created by Nancy Schön, who also created the famous “Make Way for Ducklings” sculptures in the Boston Public Garden. The sundial was dedicated in 2004 and honors all the nurses who provide care daily around the world. The figure in the back symbolizes the past and is holding a lamp to honor the legacy of Florence Nightingale. The middle woman holds a book symbolizing the advances being made in the medical field. Lastly, the woman in front is the future and carries a globe representing the universality of nursing.

There are also two quotes inscribed on the sundial. One is from Florence Nightingale, “Nursing is an art. The finest of the fine arts.” The other is from Ruth Sleeper, who was the director of the Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing from 1946 to 1966. It reads, “Always, always more to see, more to learn, more to do…to improve both care and cure.”

Know Before You Go

The sundial is located right across from the parking lot at the intersection of Parkman Street and North Anderson Street. There are also several parking garages nearby.

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November 29, 2022

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