Is this your first time here?

Each day, Clio connects thousands of people to nearby culture and history. Our website and mobile app are free for everyone and designed to make it easy to discover cultural and historical sites throughout the United States. You can search for nearby sites, take a walking tour, create your own itinerary, or simply go for a walk or drive and let Clio show you nearby sites using our mobile app. Clio is non-profit and free for everyone thanks to the support of people like you. Donations are tax- deductible! Click here to learn more!

"Freedom," by Zenos Frudakis

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art ()


"Freedom" By artist Zenos Frudakis, is a Philadelphia based public art display housed on the side of the former GlaxoSmithKline building in Philadelphia. Erected in 2001, the work showcases the figure of a man in four transformative movements that represent his journey from bondage to freedom. Frudakis' sculpture was commissioned by Francesca Shaughnessy, a former psychologist with the Philadelphia School District, and was dedicated in October of the same year.

"Freedom" is frequently included in lists of the most significant public art displays in the world.


"I wanted to create a sculpture almost anyone, regardless of their background, could look at and instantly recognize that it is about the idea of struggling to break free. This sculpture is about the struggle for achievement of freedom through the creative process."
- Zenos Frudakis

Freedom is 20ft long and 8ft high, weighs in at 7000 pounds, and was cast in bronze. Frudakis has said he was inspired by Rodin’s Gates of Hell, and sought to incorporate a myriad of sculptures that would comprise Freedom as a whole. The face speaking the words “Freedom” from which the sculpture’s name is derived, is a mirrored reflection of the artists own face. Similarly, a casting of Frudakis’ hands can also be found within Freedom and were provided by artist Duane Hanson.

Frudakis has stated that “Although there are four figures represented, the work is really one figure moving from left to right. The composition develops from left to right beginning with a kind of mummy/death like captive figure locked into its background. In the second frame, the figure, reminiscent of Michelangelo's Rebellious Slave, begins to stir and struggle to escape. The figure in the third frame has torn himself from the wall that held him captive and is stepping out, reaching for freedom. In the fourth frame, the figure is entirely free, victorious, arms outstretched, completely away from the wall and from the grave space he left behind. He evokes an escape from his own mortality.” 


"Freedom Sculpture," ( Information, and Photo Credits) Website of Zenos Frudakis, "Public Monuments and Portrait Sculptures," (accessed 5/22/16). From 'Freedom' to 'Knowledge,' News article depicting Philly-area sculptor's work. (accessed 5/26/16).

N 16th and Vine Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19102
FREEDOM is on permanent display in Philadelphia, and can be viewed publicly year round.
  • Art and Art Museums
User Created Tours That Include This Entry
This location was created on 2016-05-21 by Clynton Kelly .   It was last updated on 2016-05-29 by Clio Admin .

This entry has been viewed 3070 times within the past year


  • No comments found.

Join The Discussion

Only registered users can comment. Registration is completely free!

Login / Register

ResponsiveVoice used under Non-Commercial License