Cut more coal in an hour
Than a shift could in a week
John Henry could’ve told them what that means
When the company brought in all the big machines, hey
John Henry was a steel drivin’ man.”
—Steve Earle, John Henry was a steel drivin’ man
Lexington Center has reached an agreement to acquire and relocate John Henry’s “Publisher” sculpture from Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate, to downtown on the North Plaza of the new Central Bank Center, overlooking W. Vine Street and Triangle Park.
“Publisher,” was created by Lexington-born sculptor John Henry. The towering, 70’h linear sculpture will be moved from its current location on the lawn at Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate, to Rupp.
“A significant work of Public Art has long been contemplated for the Central Bank Center Expansion Project,” said Bob Elliston, LCC Board Chairman. “This is a great opportunity to acquire a sculpture that is not only complementary to the architectural design of the new CBC but is especially meaningful as a connection and tribute to one of Kentucky’s most celebrated artists.”
Henry was born in Lexington, KY in 1943 and has had a 55-year career stretching across five continents. He began his secondary education at the University of Kentucky in 1961 and received a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1969. He received a Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Kentucky in 1996. Since 1971, Henry has produced many monumental and large-scaled works of art for museums, cities and public institutions across the United States, Europe and Asia.
Artsy describes the artist as “typically identified with 1970s Minimalism, his formal roots lie in Russian Constructivism’s merging of industrial processes and geometric abstraction. Henry’s work ranges from small pieces to some of the largest metal sculptures in the world.”
“It’s gratifying to know that a sculpture of mine will be sited close to the things I love, the University of Kentucky, my family and friends in the Bluegrass region and of course, the Kentucky Wildcats, “ said John Henry. “Although I’ve lived away for most of my adult life, Kentucky is my home and where I will lay my head to rest one day,” he continued.
The cost of the sculpture and associated relocation expenses is $450,000. LCC has committed to provide financial support and to spearhead a fundraising effort for the project.