Despite serving our Navies for their lifetimes, we often see those colossal ships lying desolate at Naval dockyards – awaiting speedy restoration. Installed at the new Museum of History & Industry at Lake Union Park, the Wawona sculpture seeks to breathe a new life into the wooden remnants of an historic 1897 wooden ship called Wawona. The aforementioned ship was demolished in 2009 since it was too huge to be preserved. As MOHAI wished to bestow a certain level of dignity to Wawona, it asked artist John Grade to utilize ship’s salvaged wood to create the sculpture.
Measuring 65-foot and weighing just above five-and-a-half ton, the mammoth sculpture has all visible signs of its glorious past. The vertical installation forces one to contemplate about its probable origin: mast or the hull. Anyhow, the grand sculpture is sure to enjoy the company of mega artifacts at the museum. Moreover, since the Wawona sculpture celebrates the incarnation of a discarded ship, we see it as an inspirational work of art.