List of Brown University statues

The following is a list of statues and sculptures on the Brown University campus.

Marcus Aurelius

Brown's Marcus Aurelius statue stands atop of the hill on Ruth Simmons Quadrangle, at the rear of Sayles Hall, facing Thayer Street through the Soldiers Memorial Gate. The statue was unveiled on June 1, 1908 by Robert Hale Ives Goddard on behalf of his deceased brother Moses Brown Ives Goddard.[1]

The bronze statue is a copy of the equestrian statue located on Capitoline Hill in Rome. The northern pedestal's face is inscribed, "The Gift of Moses Brown Ives Goddard to Brown University MCMVII".

Caesar Augustus

The Caesar Augustus statue stands in front of the Sharpe Refectory in Hughes Court. It was a gift to the university by Moses Brown Ives Goddard in 1906.[2] It is an exact bronze copy of the Vatican Museum's classic Augustus of Prima Porta statue. The statue's arm broke off due to a hurricane that struck Providence in 1938. It was originally located in front of Rhode Island Hall on the main College Green, until it was moved to its current location in 1952.

The pedestal reads "The Gift of Moses Brown Ives Goddard to Brown University".

Brown Bear

The seven-foot bronze Brown Bear statue stands at a prominent location above the entrance into the College Green from Faunce House. It was given to the university in 1923, paid for by $10,000 of donations from Brown alumni.[3] It was sculpted and cast by New York City animalier Eli Harvey. The statue was originally located at Marvel Gymnasium, but was moved to the main College Green when the gym was shut down in 1989.

The front side of the pedestal reads:

Given By Alumni And Undergraduates
To Brown University
To Symbolize Those Qualities Of
Strength Courage Endurance
Which Go Far To Make Men Invincible

The bear stands on a pedestal containing a piece of slate rock stepped upon by Roger Williams in 1636 when claiming the land that would become the city of Providence. On the back of the statue, below the slate, the pedestal is inscribed with:

This is a piece of the slate rock
on which Roger Williams Landed
when he came here in 1636
to hold forth his lively experiment
of independence with strength & courage.
May his spirit live in Brown men.

Little Bear Fountain

Slightly out of the way from the main campus, the Little Bear Fountain currently resides next to Brown's Faculty Club. The fountain was a gift from Theodore Francis Green, who had promoted the bear as Brown’s mascot; it is a bronze replica of one which Green found presiding over a fountain in Breslau, Poland. Over the years, the statue was painted with lacquer, masking much of the artistic detail of the bear. It was recently restored to its original condition by Newmans' Ltd. of Newport, Rhode Island.[4]


Created by renowned British wildlife sculptor Nick Bibby, Indomitable is true to size for a male Kodiak, measuring ten feet in height. He joins Ernest Geyger's bear fountain at the Faculty Club; Ely Harvey's bronze Bruno, ca. 1923, located on the Main Green; Nicholas Swearer's expressionist bear at Maddock Alumni Center, ca. 1988, and the taxidermied Kodiak bear in the lobby of Meehan Auditorium.[5]

The statue presides at the entrance of the Nelson Fitness Center and the Ittleson Quad and was commissioned by Brown’s Public Art Committee under the Percent-for-Art program, which designates a percentage of construction budgets for public art displays. Additional support for the commission was provided by Jonathan M. Nelson and H. Anthony Ittleson.[6]

To set him on course, Bibby was provided with excerpts from Encyclopedia Brunonian, which explains the logic behind Theodore Francis Green’s (class of 1887) advocacy of the bear as Brown’s mascot. Speaking in 1904 he argued,

While it may be somewhat unsociable and uncouth, it is good natured and clean. While courageous and ready to fight, it does not look for trouble for its own sake, not is it bloodthirsty. It is not one of a herd, but acts independently. It is intelligent and capable of being educated (if caught young enough).

Bibby decided on a strong standing bear, who while not growling or aggressive was a force to be respected. Working over an eighteen-month period, he sculpted Indomitable with great anatomical precision and attention to detail, and cast the sculpture using the labor-intensive lost wax process that has changed little since its inception thousands of years ago. The skillful finishing of Pangolin Editions Foundry translated Bibby’s remarkably detailed rendering into a formidable mascot and magnificent bronze.[7]


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