Sculptor Donates Planned Einstein Bust to Princeton
Almost 10 years in the making, a tribute to Albert Einstein in Princeton will finally culminate in April 2005. The Borough announced this week that a bronze bust of Einstein will be placed on the grounds next to Borough Hall next spring, courtesy of its creator, Robert Berks.
Worth approximately $150,000, the statue will sit on 25 feet of land southeast of the plaza in front of Borough Hall. It will be placed in its location during the 100th anniversary of the Special Theory of Relativity and the 50th anniversary of Einstein's death.
In May 2001, Borough Council voted unanimously to donate space near Borough Hall for a bust of Einstein. This reversed a decision made seven years earlier when five of the six Council members abstained from voting on such a decision due to a lack of information and unanswered questions.
Last fall, The Einstein Fund of Princeton asked that Council allow the committee to raise funds for the statue by selling bricks that will surround the statue. However its creator, Mr. Berks, 82, of The Robert Berks Foundation, has decided to donate this statue as the sculptor's personal homage to Einstein.
The pedestal on which the statue will sit will cost the Borough approximately $35,000, which will be paid for by donations from The Einstein Fund. The Borough will pay for insurance and upkeep of the statue.
"The fact that the sculptor has donated the statue to the people of Princeton is really great," said Mayor Joe O'Neill, noting that the statue is a gift to the residents of both the Borough and Township.
Altogether Mr. Berks has created more than 300 bronze portraits and more than a dozen monuments of historical and political figures.
He created his first Einstein sculpture in 1953 at the home of Einstein in Princeton. The following year, he began creating what would become a 24-foot Einstein Centennial Monument on the grounds of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C. Afterwards he created another 12-foot monument, and a second bronze cast, which has been part of the Einstein exhibit at the American Museum of National History.
The vision for an Einstein statue in the Borough first began when a group of Princeton residents wanted to pay tribute to his existence in Princeton and his contributions to society.
Donations for the Einstein sculpture may be sent to the Princeton Area Community Foundation, c/o The Einstein Fund of Princeton New Jersey, 15 Princess Road, Lawrenceville, 08648.