Many public sculptures dot Mobile’s landscape. They have become as essential to the city’s character as the oaks that grace our neighborhoods. Some of our best-known pieces include the iron deer in Washington Square, the slave boy in front of the National African-American Archives, and the life-size Adm. Raphael Semmes at Government and Royal streets.
However, many works of art in Mobile have quietly witnessed the city’s ever-changing landscape for decades, even centuries, without any of their due recognition.
Two such silent sentries stand in Cooper Riverside Park. Until the 1990s, they graced the front of the Loyal American Life Insurance Co. building (now Harold Johnson Police Headquarters) on Government Street. When they were moved to the park, local sculptor Casey Downing refinished the pieces’ green deteriorating patina.
South American artist R.J. Capurro (1903 – 1971) created the bronze seafarers. Their exact titles are unknown, as are the dates of their creation. One of the pair pulls in lines of net. The other stands ready to thrust a harpoon into the surrounding space. The works, a testament to the city’s heritage as a port, are certainly worth a visit.