The Crying Giant – Wilmington, Delaware - Atlas Obscura
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Wilmington, Delaware

The Crying Giant

This weeping 10-foot-tall sculpture was a maquette for a 9/11 memorial.  

In addition to the many works of art housed within its walls, the Delaware Art Museum also boasts a magnificent sculpture garden. It’s full of beautiful, thought-provoking works, including this giant sculpture of a weeping giant.

The Crying Giant is essentially a rough draft of artist Tom Otterness’ memorial to the victims of September 11. Originally, the copper figure was meant to be more than just a sculpture. Its eyes were supposed to drip water into pools below, filling the basins with an endless stream of sorrowful tears. An elevator was also supposed to lift viewers up to an attached observation deck.

However, Otterness’ full plans never came to fruition. Instead, the the giant sits as something of a maquette of his original intentions. It’s still a powerful work of art, though the giant’s eyes remain dry. It’s clear the 10-foot-tall figure, tinged green by time and rain, is a symbol of grief and mourning. The sculpture garden as a whole is a quiet place of concentration. Artwork fills the space, speckled within swaths of hydrangeas and magnolias. A labyrinth further entangles the mind.

This version of The Crying Giant is actually one of three. The other two are in Missouri and The Netherlands.

Know Before You Go

The sculpture garden is free to enter.