The Awakening (sculpture)

Coordinates: 38°47′6″N 77°1′1″W / 38.78500°N 77.01694°W / 38.78500; -77.01694

The Awakening (1980) is a 72-foot (22 m) statue of a giant embedded in the earth, struggling to free himself, located at National Harbor in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States, just outside the District of Columbia.[1]

The Awakening in its former site at Hains Point, Washington, DC


The statue consists of five separate aluminum pieces buried in the ground, giving the impression of a distressed giant attempting to free himself from the ground. The left hand and right foot barely protrude, while the bent left leg and knee jut into the air. The 17-foot (5.2 m) high right arm and hand reach farther out of the ground. The bearded face, with the mouth in mid-scream, struggles to emerge from the earth.[1]


The Awakening was created by J. Seward Johnson, Jr. in 1980 as part of Washington, DC's 11th annual Sculpture Conference, and the sculpture was originally installed at Hains Point in East Potomac Park, Washington, D.C.. Hains Point was designated by Congress as the site for a National Peace Garden in 1987. Although no work had started on the National Peace Garden for many years, the decision still prompted the eventual sale of the sculpture by its owner, The Sculpture Foundation.

Real estate developer Milton Peterson purchased the sculpture for $750,000 in 2007 for installation at his new National Harbor development in Maryland. Crews removed The Awakening from Hains Point in February 2008 for its move to National Harbor. At the National Harbor development, the sculpture was installed on a specially built beach along the Potomac River.[2][3][4]

The Awakening IIEdit

Seward Johnson created a copy of The Awakening, which was unveiled in Chesterfield, Missouri on October 10, 2009. The sculpture is located adjacent to Chesterfield Central Park, near the intersection of Chesterfield Parkway and Park Circle Drive to the west of Chesterfield Mall. The installation of the sculpture in Chesterfield was commissioned by Chesterfield Arts, which is a non-profit arts organization supporting public art and the visual, performing and literary arts in Chesterfield and the West County. $1 million in funding was provided by Sachs Properties.[5][6]


The sculpture (while at Hains Point) is the centerpiece of a scene in the film Shadow Conspiracy, with the actors moving among the pieces.

In the video game Primordia it has been the inspiration for the design of the buried-under-the-sands robot Goliath, which came out from a childhood experience of Mark Yohalem.

In the Orson Scott Card book Empire, the statue is mentioned several times and is the first meeting point for two of the main characters.

In an early scene in the 1995 film The Net, a cabinet member commits suicide on a park bench overlooking the sculpture.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "The Awakening, (sculpture)". Art Inventories Catalog. Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved April 12, 2011.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "The Hains Point Hand: Stealing Away A Public Treasure - Raw Fisher".
  4. ^ Abruzzese, Sarah (December 29, 2007). "After 27 Years, a Popular Sculpture Moves From a National Park Into Private Hands" – via
  5. ^ Shapiro, Mary. "CHESTERFIELD: Sculptures throughout city grab viewers' attention".
  6. ^

External linksEdit

  Media related to The Awakening (sculpture) at Wikimedia Commons