Washington DC - Foggy Bottom: National Academy of Sciences - Einstein Memorial

The Einstein Memorial, sculpted by Robert Berks, was dedicated on April 22, 1979 at the southwest corner of the grounds of the National Academy of Sciences at 2101 Constitution Avenue. The full-length bronze figure of Albert Einstein is seated, with manuscript papers in hand, on a semicircular three-step bench carved from Mt. Airy white granite and emerald pearl granite.


The memorial was financed by over 5,000 contributors and commemorates the centennial of the birth of the scientist. It was sculpted in 19 sections and then welded together. . The sculpture, based on a portrait bust sculpted from life in 1952, weighs 7,000 pounds and would stand 21 feet high. Einstein's papers are inscribed with the mathematical equations for the photoelectric effect; the theory of general relativity; and the equivalence of energy and matter.


The statue and bench are at one side of a circular dais, 28 feet in diameter, made from emerald-pearl granite from Larvik, Norway. Embedded in the dais, at Einstein's right foot, is a celestial map designed with the help of Seidelmann and Schmidt, U.S. Naval Observatory astronomers. The map, intended by the artist as a reminder that the universe was Einstein's laboratory, features more than 2,700 metal studs representing the location of astronomical objects at noon on April 22, 1979 when the memorial was dedicated. Different studs denote binary stars, spectroscopic binaries, pulsars, globular clusters, open clusters, and quasars.


The National Academy of Sciences (NAS), created in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln, is a corporation whose members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine." The marble-clad headquarters building was designed by Bertram Goodhue in 1924 and has been continuously occupied by the NAS.


National Academy of Sciences National Register #74002168 (1974)

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Taken on August 16, 2001