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Peace Monuments Made from Furniture
(Tables, Chairs, Benches, etc.)

Right click image to enlarge.

1869 - Treaty Table, Treaty Room, White House, Washington, DC (USA). Also known as Grant's Cabinet Table. "Pottier & Stymus Manufacturing Co., New York, created a 'table for eight persons' for Andrew Johnson, delivered in 1869, after Johnson had left office. President Grant’s Cabinet met around this table every Thursday and Friday. The table has eight locking drawers, so each Cabinet member and the president could keep important papers safe. At the president's end is the remains of a call button system. Except for a time in early 20th century, the table has nearly always been in the White House Treaty Room. Many important agreements have been signed on the table, including the peace treaty that ended the Spanish-American War in 1898, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963, and one of the SALT agreements. Recent presidents have used it in their private White House offices."
June 28, 1919 - Peace Table, Palace of Versailles, Versailles (France). Table on which the Treaty of Versailles was signed.
October 27, 1938 - Peace Table, Tg-Jiu, Gorj (Romania) Also called "Table of Silence" (Masa Tacerii). By Constantin Brancusi [1876-1957]. "Limestone. Dimensions: panel diameter 2, 15 meters, thick 0,43 m and the leg is 2 m in diameter and 0,45 m thick. According to the exegetes of the Brancusian art, the represents the table around which gather the soldiers before confronting their enemy. At the same time, the chairs stand for the time disposed in hourglasses. Some make an analogy with The Last Supper of Leonardo da Vinci." "Brancusi is commonly regarded as a founding father of modernist sculpture... Themes of peace, joy, comfort & healing recur in Brancusi’s aphorisms."
1941 - International Peace Monument (Bench), Belle Isle Park, Detroit River, Detroit, Michigan (USA). Carved on the back of the bench are an eagle with 13 stars for the US and a crown and lion for Canada. Entry #494 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).
1976 - Megiddo Peace Table, Ann Arbor, Michigan (USA). "Served as the opening peace table at the 1999 Hague Appeal for Peace, the world's largest ever peace meeting. Noble peace prize winners Desmond Tutu, Rigoberta Menchu Tum, and Jose Ramos Horta sat around the table, moderated by David Andrews of Ireland, and talked of what they had learned in their peace efforts in South Africa, Guatemala, and East Timor. The table served in the room where different meetings discussed small arms dealing, child soldiers, nuclear weapons, the war in the Sudan, and two sessions on Jerusalem." Future - Activist Alan Haber and his wife Odile Hugonot Haber propose "to take the peace table to a peace meeting" in Megiddo (Israel). Right image is sight from Hill of Megiddo (Har Megiddo = Armageddon), ancient crossroads of Egypt, Europe, and Persia, a hoped-for location of the Peace Table.
1986 - Peace Table #1 for America, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City, New York (USA). By mastercraftsman George Nakashima [1905-1990] of New Hope, Pennsylvania (USA). Dedicated with a concert for Peace conducted by Leonard Bernstein.
1989 - Civil Rights Memorial (fountain), Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Montgomery, Alabama (USA). By Maya Lin. A memorial to 40 people who died between 1954 (year of Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education) and 1968 (year of Martin Luther King's assassination.) Civil Rights Memorial Center (CRMC) added in 2005.
1993 - "The Women's Table," in front of Sterling Library, Yale University, New Haven, Conneticut (USA). By Maya Lin. "A spiral, engraved timeline that records the number of women in Yale programs from the founding of the University in the early 18th century through 1993."

July 15, 1995 - The Surreal Peace Chair, Village Entrance, Ein Hod near Haifa (Israel). Bronze 320 cm high. By American artist Dorothy Robbins [1920-1999]. (After a failed attempt to create a moshav on the site, Ein Hod became an artists' colony in 1953.) "Great Travel Moment: During our visit to the artists' village of Ein Hod, my sister took a brief rest in the "Surreal Peace Chair," which was so enormous her feet didn't touch the ground. The village was chock-full of statues, sculptures, murals, studios & galleries. We couldn't afford anything except the photos we took, but it was a beautiful September day, and we felt like Alice in Wonderland as we ambled along and discovered unusual pieces around every bend of this hilly town."
1994 - Peace Thrones, below Sauder Visual Arts Center near Riley Creek, Bluffton University, Bluffton, Ohio (USA). Created by B. Amore & Woody Dorsey. Stone seats for conversation or meditation. "Based on legends found in many cultures, the three large granite rocks create a neutral space to foster dialogue and listening in an effort to resolve conflict through dialogue without resorting to violence." Image scanned from university brochure.

February 29, 1996 - Peace Table #2 for Asia, Hall of Peace, Unity Pavilion, International Zone, Auroville, Tamil Nadu (India). By Japanese-American craftsman George Nakashima [1905-1990] of New Hope, Pennsylvania (USA). The Auroville community ("City of Peace") sprang from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, which George Nakashima helped build when he was a disciple there in 1937.
1997 - Peace Table, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles, California (USA). By Mierle Laderman Ukeles. "I made a piece for LA MOCA in 1997--I did a piece called Unburning Freedom Hall in an old industrial building where you didn't have to worry about a floor load. I'm used to being around a lot of tonnage, a lot of trucks, so I walked into this building and I thought, "oh my god, I could bring a lot of material here." I made a piece with one million pounds of crushed glass, that's 540 tons, and it was brought in with 28 trailers. I set up a recycling facility inside of the museum and created this surrounding of crushed glass with a peace table in the middle which was stained glass of cobalt blue, suspended from the ceiling."
September 1997 - Broken Chair, Palais des Nations, Geneva (Switzerland). "Handicap International unveiled the 12 meter high wooden sculpture made by Swiss artist Daniel Berset, in support of the global movement to eradicate landmines. A daily reminder of the governments' commitment to fully universalize and adhere to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, including providing assistance to landmine victims and clearance of mine-affected land." The International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Jody Williams received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997.

1999 - Langston Hughes Library, CDF Haley Farm, Children's Defense Fund (CDF), 1000 Alex Haley Lane, Clinton, Tennessee (USA). By Maya Lin. Conversion of old cantilevered barn into a modern library with memorial water table under the barn's overhang (of which no photo is available). Lin also designed the nearby Riggio-Lynch Interfaith Chapel.
April 19, 2000 - Field of Empty Chairs, Outdoor Symbolic Memorial, Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (USA). 168 empty chairs hand-crafted from glass, bronze & stone represent those who lost their lives on April 19, 1995, with a name etched in the glass base of each.
Date? - Monumental Metal Chairs, Umschlagplatz / Zgody Square, Kracow (Poland). Memorializing the victims of Krakow Ghetto. Zgody Square was the main place for the deportation of Kracow’s Jews in 1942.
2000 - "Timetable," Pacard Electrical Engineering Building, Stanford University, Stanford, California (USA). By Maya Lin.
October 2000 - "Women Are Persons!," Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Ontario, (Canada). Bronze statues of the "Famous Five" women. "On October 18, 1929, the Famous Five made history by winning the case which made women officially persons under the British North America Act (BNA). They again created history when a sculpture of the Five became the first sculpture of Canadian women to grace Parliament Hill."
December 8, 2000 - Statue of John Lennon (Cuba). from the moving speech given by Ricardo Alarcon, President of the Cuban Parliament, the day the statue was dedicated: "This place will always be a testimonial to struggle, a summoning to humanism. It will also be a permanent homage to a generation that wanted to transform the world, and to the rebellious spirit, innovative, of the artist who helped forge that generation and at the same time is one of its most authentic symbols... Our boat will continue sailing. Nothing will stop it. It is driven by "a wind that never dies." They will call us dreamers but our ranks will grow. We will defend the vanquished dream and struggle to make real all dreams. Neither storms nor pirates will hold us back. We will sail on until we reach the new world that we will know how to build."

June 26, 2001 - Peace Table #3 for Europe, Russian Academy of Arts, Moscow (Russia). Used at The Hague Appeal for Peace in 1999 before being shipped to Russia. By mastercraftsman George Nakashima [1905-1990] of New Hope, Pennsylvania (USA).

2001 - Throne of Weapons, Maputo (Mozambique). By Cristovao (Kester) Estevao. "Bought by the British Museum from the 2002 Christian Aid exhibition ‘Swords into Ploughshares.’ It has travelled the length and breadth of the UK this year, being displayed in schools, churches, youth centres and a prison, as well as in museums, to represent Africa in 2005 as a symbol of a positive, forward-looking future." Click here for a PDF description of the chair from the British Museum.
September 2001 - Water Table Fountain, Ecliptic Park, Rosa Parks Circle, Grand Rapids, Michigan (USA). By Maya Lin. "The heart of [the park] is a skating rink that converts into an amphitheater in the warmer months and is lit by tiny fiber-optic lights, which are embedded in its surface and laid out in a pattern representing a constellation of stars. Lin also designed two small service buildings in steel and concrete, a pair of fountains, and short, wandering paths through landscaped mounds of grass that rise and fall in waves about three feet high."
2003 - "Table of Peace," Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv (Israel). Bronze sculpture by Italian artist Sandro Chia.
October 25, 2003 - Boston Women's Memorial, Commonwealth Avenue Mall (between Fairfield & Gloucester Streets), Boston, Massachusetts (USA). Honors Abigail Adams, Lucy Stone & Phillis Wheatley "Each of these women had progressive ideas that were ahead of her time, was committed to social change, and left a legacy through her writings that had a significant impact on history." By artist Meredith Bergmann.

2004 - Peace Benches, The Hague (Netherlands). At the World Peace Flame (qv) in front of the Peace Palace (qv). Two benches paid for by the Carnegie Stichting / Carnegie Foundation on the occasion of its centennial. At least one is by artist Moki Last. Image made by Steve Fryburg has been lost. Not sure if these images are correctly identified.
October 25, 2005 - Water Table Fountain, Arts Plaza, University of California Irvine (UCI), Irvine, California (USA). By Maya Lin.
May 2006 - The "Give Peace a Chance" Hotel Room (Suite 1742), Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal, Quebec (Canada). "John Lennon and Yoko Ono placed Suite 1742 in the international spotlight during their Bed-In in May 1969. The highlight of the world's most famous bed-in was John Lennon's composition of the song Give Peace A Chance which he wrote and recorded in the suite. To commemorate the 37th anniversary, the hotel is offering the Give Peace a Chance package."
2006 - Children's Monument, Rabbijn Maarsenplein, The Hague (Netherlands). "A monument for 1700 Jewish children from The Hague who were killed by the Nazis in the Second World War. Consists of six chairs or stairs with the names and the ages on them of the victims. These names were handwritten by school children of today. The monument is also a playground for children."
September 11, 2008 - Pentagon Memorial, 1 Rotary Road, Pentagon Reservation, Department of Defense, Arlington, Virginia (USA). A permanent outdoor memorial to the 184 people killed in the building and on American Airlines Flight 77 in the September 11, 2001 attacks. "To honor the 184 victims, 184 illuminated benches have been arranged according to the victim's ages." Click here for the Wikipedia article.
Date? - Flint Sitdown Strike Memorial, Sitdowners Memorial Park, Flint, Michigan (USA). Honors "sitdowners" of the 1936-1937 UAW automobile strike.
Date? - Flint Sitdown Strike Historical marker, Sitdowners Memorial Park, Flint, Michigan (USA).
December 2010 - "Photo shows Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Price committee, last week during the Nobel Prize giving ceremony. The empty chair next to him was reserved for Liu Xiaobo. Liu Xiaobo is a Chinese dissident as we say in the Western world, but a criminal according to the Chinese Government. He had won the 2010 Noble Prize for Peace."
2010? - Peace Table #4 for Africa, Peace Room, Desmond Tutu Centre & Museum, Roggebaai, Cape Town (South Africa). "The Peace Room will offer a trusted, neutral space for brokering peace dialogues & post-conflict negotiations among world leaders others. It will host Africa's Nakashima Peace Table. One table has been donated to each of the world's continents by the Nakashima Foundation." By mastercraftsman George Nakashima [1905-1990] of New Hope, Pennsylvania (USA).

December 14, 2011 - Peace Monument, near the Japanese Embassy, Seoul (South Korea). Inscription: "This peace monument reflects people's genuine desire to learn from history and remember the past on the occasion of the 1,000th weekly protest against Japan's atrocities by comfort woman forced into sexual slavery." "Marks the 1,000th demonstration of the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan which has staged rallies in front of the Japanese embassy on Wednesday of every week. The council demands that the Japanese government apologise for & pay direct compensation to the victims, euphemistically called 'comfort women.' Japan has acknowledged that its wartime military used sex slaves but refuses to directly compensate the victims individually, arguing that the issue was settled by a 1965 normalisation treaty with South Korea."
Date? - Peace Bench, "Art in the Park" (largest collection of chain saw art in Illinois), Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center, Utica, Illinois (USA).
May 29, 2013 - Peace Bench, Carnegieplein / Carnegie Square, The Hague (Netherlands). "Deputy Mayor Marjolein de Jong (Culture, City Centre and International Affairs) & Steven van Hoogstraten, general director of the Carnegie Foundation, released doves on 29 May to inaugurate a completely renewed Carnegieplein in The Hague. A stilt walker then revealed the ‘peace bench’ created by the artist Egbert Schuttert. The granite sitting area features the word ‘peace’ written in all the languages of the United Nations Member States. The entrance to the Peace Palace, worldwide symbol of peace and justice, has undergone a true metamorphosis over the last few months. The square fits in better with the allure of the palace, which will celebrate its 100-year anniversary in August 2013. The Carnegieplein is now restricted to traffic. Tour buses are no longer allowed to park on the square but may use the five designated parking spots along the edge of the square. More greenery has been added to the square itself and the flower boxes are in the same style as the garden in front of the Peace Palace. The ‘peace bench’ was built around the green space. The memorial to the Second World War was moved closer to the historic trees by the square so that it is given its full due. The newly designed square has been given historic lampposts which fit nicely with the Peace Palace."
July 30, 2013 - Peace Monument, Glendale Central Park, Glendale, California (USA). "Over the objections of dozens of Japanese-Americans who crowded City Hall chambers, the Glendale City Council voted Tuesday [July 9, 2013] to install a controversial memorial at Glendale Central Park honoring 'comfort women' -- a euphemism for the mostly Korean women & girls forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II...The memorial will be unveiled July 30, and a surviving comfort woman will attend the ceremony. It will be a replica of the famous 'peace monument' that Korean civic leaders erected across the street from the Japanese Embassy in Seoul in 2001 [sic], near where surviving comfort women have held a protest every Wednesday for more than 20 years..."
Future - "Peace Offering," Artist's studio, Hopkinton, Massachusetts (USA). Bench in form of a dove with outstretchd hands and the tail of a hawk (representing hostility). By Michael Malfano. "This sculpture represents some of the many aspects of attaining peace. It is a expression of Michael's Soka Gakkai Buddhist practice, with the intention of contributing to peace and culture." (5'7" x 2'9" x 1'7" Bronze, $25,000, Ltd. Ed. of 25, Resin, $6,000, Ltd. Ed. of 100)

Please email your comments & questions to geovisual @ Thank you.

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