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"Symphony in Three Forms"

East of Russell Hall
Don Finegan

Symphony in Three Forms

ArtistTitle: "Symphony in Three Forms"

Sculptor: Don Finegan, UNI Associate Art Professor

Location: Outside the main doors of Russell Hall

Date of Installation: 1960

Cost: $3,000

Larger Associated Project: Russell Hall

Description: Professor Finegan attempted to capture the movement and vitality of music in form when he created "Symphony in Three Forms."  The sculpture consists of three figures of abstract twisted metal on cement bases.  Fiberglass was sprayed on thin strips of bronze and then molded.  The three figures represent the three themes of a musical composition.  The left figure sets the symphony theme.  The figure on the right represents theme development, and the tall center figure represents the climax of the symphony.  The figures were set apart from the building because Finegan wanted people to be able to walk around the figures and relate to the sculpture from different angles.

Finegan with his sculpture before it was installed.

Critical Reaction: The response varied; however, most students at the time of its creation and placement gave favorable opinions of the sculpture.

Other: "Symphony in Three Forms," which took two years to finish, was created to the sounds of Beethoven's String Quartet and Bela Bartok's compositions.  This particular sculpture was the first artwork created in conjunction with a building project.  In the following years, artwork was commissioned for most newly-constructed buildings.

Symphony in Three Forms
"Symphony in Three Forms" in 1990.


Page compiled by Student Assistant Sarah Eaton; edited by Library Assistant Susan Basye, Special Collections and University Archives, February 1998; last updated, December 16, 2013 (GP).

Outdoor Sculptures

Title Sculptor Location
"Variations on a Theme: Joy" Robert A. Lorr North of McCollum Science Hall
"Towers Art Project" Anthony Padavano South of the Towers Center
"Symphony in Three Forms" Don Finegan East of Russell Hall
"Stage Set for a Film #1" Dennis Oppenheim East of Wellness/Recreation Center
"Porta Largo" Walter Dusenbery South of Strayer Wood Theatre and Kamerick Art Building
"Nature's Secret" Janet Loftquist North of Latham Hall
"Monument to the Elm" John Faust Previously located at the Lutheran Student Center
"Iowa Cycles" Cork Marcheschi Union Plaza among Maucker Union, Sabin Hall, and Wright Hall
"Industrial Technology Sculpture" Robert Engman Northwest of Industrial Technology Center
"Impact of Experience" Ted Egri Between Rod Library and East Gymnasium
"From Tragedy to Triumph" Lewis Balentine Lutheran Student Center
"Environmental Place" Hu Hung Shu East of Schindler Education Center
"Balanced/Unbalanced Beaks" Fletcher Benton North of Business Building
"Architectural and Environmental Symposium" Jason Sweet West of Industrial Technology Center
"Annie Turner Wittenmyer Sculpture" Tom Gibbs East of Lang Hall
"The Acrobats" Edward Whiting Redeker Complex courtyard