Acquired 1982
Siah Armajani

American, born Iran 1939

Dictionary for Building: Fireplace Mantel, 1981-1982

Painted wood, mirror and Plexiglas
238.8 x 234.9 x 90.2 cm (94 x 92 1/2 x 35 1/2 in.)

In 1979, Armajani began a series of sculptures under the title, “Dictionary for Building.”  Each sculpture bears a quotation, many of which are drawn from the American poets Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, and Robert Frost.  The Art Institute’s sculpture draws on Frost’s “The Hill Wife,” written in 1916.

Siah Armajani, Dictionary for Building: Fireplace mantel, 1981-1982. Painted wood, mirror and Plexiglas, 94 x 92 ½ x 35 ½ inches. Gift of Society for Contemporary Art.