Model for Caritas

  • William King, Model for Caritas, 1978, bolted aluminum, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the General Services Administration, Art-in-Architecture Program, 1979.38.1

Luce Center Label

In 1978 the General Services Administration commissioned William King to create a sculpture for a federal building in Akron, Ohio. Caritas in Latin means “charity,” but King later changed the title of his completed sculpture to Caring to better express the idea of a friend offering a helping hand. Like many of the sculptures commissioned under GSA’s Art-in-Architecture Program, Caring was at the center of controversy regarding “wasted” tax dollars. One critic observed that Caring looked like a child had made it, but continued to say that he might get used to it, just as one gets used to seeing “beer cans along the highway.” Caring measures 22 by 32 by 6 feet and was installed on the plaza of the Federal Building in Akron, Ohio, in 1978.

Model for Caritas
Not on view
36 x 45 1/2 x 12 3/8 in. (91.4 x 115.5 x 31.5 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Transfer from the General Services Administration, Art-in-Architecture Program

Mediums Description
bolted aluminum
  • Figure group – female and child
  • General Services Administration – Art-in-Architecture Program
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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