Courthouse Art: Requiring Worship or Inspiring Liberty?

Sculpture outside the White Plains, N.Y. City Court. Photo credit: L. Tripoli
Sculpture outside the White Plains, N.Y. City Court. Photo credit: L. Tripoli
A portion of a sculpture by Kaare Nygaard outside the City Court and Department of Public Safety Building in White Plains, N.Y. Photo credit: L. Tripoli

A portion of a sculpture by Kaare Nygaard outside the City Court and Department of Public Safety Building in White Plains, N.Y. Photo credit: L. Tripoli

The last few years of civilian unrest against police makes me think about how the law is represented generally. Should a police presence be intimidating or reassuring? Should a hall of justice incite fear or inspire belief in fairness? Should government buildings foster a sense of equality or one of clubiness?

I choose equality, reassurance, fairness.

Consider courthouses, justice departments, police stations, law firm entrances in your own area. Do they convey power inappropriately taken? What feelings do you have when you see art that adorns outside or interior spaces? Are these the ones you want to have?

—Lori Tripoli

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