For untold generations, migrating bright-orange monarch butterflies are said to have been important reminders of seasonal change to the Hopi and Navajo people in the southwestern United States. They are meaningful as well in many cultures around the globe, including some as far away as southern and central Africa.
In mid 2021, Cummings Foundation erected 22 “Iron Butterflies” at various properties associated with the Cummings organization. Symbolic of rebirth and transformation, these large butterfly sculptures were erected just as Massachusetts communities began to emerge from the peak of the COVID-19 crisis.
For some they memorialize great losses, sustained during the pandemic or otherwise. German philosopher Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “We keep our loved ones with us, even at the expense of great pain, when we talk about them and think about them often.” Many have noted that the cheerful monuments help them to do just that.
Plans for these Iron Butterflies were drawn by Cummings Properties chief design officer Jim Trudeau, a long-time Beverly resident. The nine-foot, two-thousand-pound orange sculptures were fully fabricated in our own workshop from thick steel plates, and then installed by Cummings’ craftspeople. Some observers have likened them to the large-scale contemporary public art pieces created by renowned sculptor Alexander Calder.
This roadside art joins the many other amenities Cummings has installed at its most significant developments in a dozen area communities, primarily in the Metro North region of Boston. Two sculptures, however, are located as far west as New Horizons at Marlborough senior living campus and Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in North Grafton, Massachusetts.
Cummings Community Art & Amenities Flipbook