One more interesting piece of T trivia (and art history trivia!): Today’s photo features Pythagoras, a set of aluminum chimes suspended between the subway tracks that subway-goers can control with handles on the wall of the station platform.
In the late 1980s, Paul Matisse installed a series of three musical sculptures in the Kendall station in The T. Together they’re called the Kendall Band, and individually they’re called Pythagoras, Kepler, and Galileo. As of 2007 the sculptures had worn down and no longer functioned, but in 2009 MIT students began to restore the sculptures, beginning with Pythagoras. You can read more about the restoration efforts in the MIT newspaper, The Tech, and on the MIT Kendall Band Preservation Society website.
Pythagoras was reinstalled and functional again before our visit in 2011, but unfortunately we didn’t get to try it out since the control handle on our platform was being repaired.
Nonetheless, I’m excited to see that not only are these sculptures being restored, but the students have also implemented an organization and restoration documentation to ensure the continuation of the sculptures’ maintenance long-term.
And in case you’re wondering what I was wondering when you saw the name, “Matisse,” you’re correct. Paul Matisse is the grandson of Henri Matisse, as well as the stepson of Marcel Duchamp.