Gas Tank Rainbow Mural by Corita Kent - Boston, MA
Posted by: silverquill
N 42° 17.904 W 071° 02.783
19T E 331314 N 4684935
Quick Description: Corita Kent created the largest copyrighted work in the country in 1971 on a Boston Gas tank. Prominently viewed from the Expressway, the landmark quickly became controversial as many saw the profile of Ho Chi Minh in the rainbow of colors.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 6/27/2007 7:31:39 AM
Waymark Code: WM1QXM
Listen to the morning traffic report for the Southeast Exressway south of Boston and the spotters use "The Gas Tank" as a reference point. Originally there were two gas tanks owned by Boston Gas. Artist and anti-war activist Corita Kent was commissioned to create a mural on one of them. She never actually confirmed or denied that she intended for there to be a likeness of the North Vietnamese leader, Ho Chi Minh, in the rainbow of colors.
In 1992, these tanks became part of the new Keyspan Gas Company, and, unbelievably, the tank with Corita's mural was dismantled. Keyspan, however, hired artists to recreate the work of art on the remaining gas tank. The recreation featured a somewhat more rounded "nose" on the profile, softening its appearance as potentially being that of the enemy leader. Officials claimed that this more closely reflected Corita's original design, although no documentation of this fact was apparently disclosed.
The mural still remains one of the most easily identified landmarks in the Boston area, and has a place in the hearts of residents. It still lays claim to being the largest copyrighted work in the United States.