Skip to main content

NEC Unveils Bust of Coretta Scott King

The Conservatory obtained a sculpture of the alumna and civil rights icon as part of its 150th anniversary.

Thumbnail

New England Conservatory has acquired a bronze sculpture of Coretta Scott King ’54, ’71 Hon. DM, by artist MacLean Tiffany. The bust, titled “Continuation of a Dream,” was created to celebrate Mrs. King’s tireless efforts on behalf of human rights and her dedication to social justice.

About Coretta Scott King

Thumbnail

As one of the most influential women leaders in the world, Mrs. King devoted her life to civil rights and nonviolence.

Mrs. King graduated from NEC in 1954 where she completed her degree in music education. An accomplished soprano, she received an Honorary Doctor of Music from NEC in 1971 and a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2004. In addition, she gave commencement speeches in 1971 and 2004 at the Conservatory.

Mrs. King was born on April 27, 1927, in Marion, Alabama. She graduated valedictorian from Lincoln High School and received a B.A. in music and education from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

While she was studying at New England Conservatory in Boston, Mrs. King met her future husband, Martin Luther King, Jr. Her passion for music remained throughout her life and played a significant role in her civil rights work. She sang spiritual hymns at events where Dr. King spoke and conceived and performed the renowned Freedom Concerts, which combined music, prose and poetry narration.

“I applaud the Conservatory for honoring the legacy of their alumna, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, who together with her husband, shaped the history of Boston and the world,”

said Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

“This sculpture is a fitting tribute to a brave woman who spent her life fighting for peace, justice and equality for all, and complements the city's effort to pay tribute to the King Family with a memorial here in Boston. It is my hope that people will visit both of these places, and find inspiration to do good in the world.”

About the bust

Thumbnail

The artwork was obtained by the Conservatory as a result of generous donor support, led by NEC Life Trustee Barbara (Suki) and Miguel de Bragança, and including Marvin E. Gilmore, Elizabeth and William Leatherman, and Tiffany family and friends.

"Continuation of a Dream" is part of Tiffany's “Bronze Sculptures of the Human Spirit” series recognizing individuals who have made sacrifices for a larger cause. A member of the family responsible for Tiffany lamps and favrile glass windows, MacLean’s other works have been acquired by The Hutton Parker Foundation for The Santa Barbara Arts and Culture Center, Antioch College, Fielding Graduate University, The Coretta Scott King Center for Cultural and Intellectual Freedom and several private collections. This sculpture is licensed with permission from the CSK Legacy LLC on behalf of the Coretta Scott King Estate.

Thomas Novak, Interim President of NEC, said,

“Mrs. King and her commitment to equality continue to inspire generations, including our students.

“As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of NEC, this sculpture is a fitting tribute to the Conservatory’s rich legacy, and we are deeply grateful to the supporters who made this possible.”

Visit: Blumenthal Family Library

Visitors may view the bust during any open hours at NEC's Blumenthal Family Library, which is housed within NEC's new Student Life and Performance Center at 255 St. Botolph Street.

Related News: NEC's Black Student Union and Gospel Ensemble Celebrate Coretta Scott King

Back to NEC News

Top