“an aluminum giant embedded in the earth”
First created in 1980, The Awakening is a 70-foot statue of a giant embedded in the earth, struggling to free himself. The Awakening sculpture is a five piece aluminum sculpture depicting the arousing of a bearded giant with a head, hand, outstretched arm, bent knee and foot arranged to suggest that the giant is breaking free from the earth. The sculpture was designed by J. Seward Johnson Jr. and was origninally part of a city-wide public art exhibition in 1980 in Washington DC. Since it’s original installation at Hains Point, near the Jefferson Memorial, the sculpture had been on loan to the National Park Service. The developer of National Harbor, the Peterson Companies, purchased the sculpture and moved it to National Harbor on February 20, 2008, to serve as the center piece of the new property that opened later that year. Today, the Awakening beckons thousands of visitors to his beach front home along the Potomac River to enjoy fun in the sand soaking up the sun on a relaxing day at the harbor.
Now that it is at the National Harbor it is a toy for kids. I really wanted to see this, but WAY too many kids were climbing for me to even see it.
Yes, the kids love it! It's fun to watch them enjoy it. If you must have a picture sans youth, wake up early and take a morning picture. Ha, how's that for irony?
I saw this on a trip last year. We couldn't quite figure out what it was. There is no signage, no explanation and people crawling all over it. Not worth a special trip. If you're in the area then stroll down to check it out after you've stopped into the Peeps Store ;)
It was in a park when it was first placed. People let their children climb on it, which was very up setting to me as an artist. My fear was how many years before it is worn away with people climbing on it. My children saw it when they were five and seven, and it was my 5 year old who is now 28 that found this article and remembered seeing it. I hope they have put fence around it to protect it.
When I was in college they took us to see this at Haines point when I was being hazed. It was awesome.
I grew up around DC and this amazing sculpture is one of my favorite memories! The exhibit was becoming somewhat tired at Hains point and I am so happy to see that it has received a breath of new life at Washington Harbor
It’s an outdoor shopping mall... the best part is the Giant buried in the earth sculpture on the beach..; otherwise its a not too pretty, rather generic harbor... kids were excited to climb up and down the limbs of the beast and so did I... my boyfriend and I r photo lovers ~ great to see these big scale hands and foot , my child like imagination came alive ~ lots of good photos captured. Perfect light @ ~ sunset :)
I think it’s great to see art merged with a lively place for all the children laughters and excitement. Worth stopping by to feel small again, young & scale wise.
It was a beautiful statue in a cool town! There is artwork and food shops everywhere, there were also statues of celebrities around town which was fun to take pictures with. This wasn’t my final destination but it was a nice place to stop by and see the gigantic statue by the water.
Cool if you like art
National harbor is a cute little spot to spend an afternoon with some shops, paddle boats and a Ferris wheel. The sculpture is pretty cool but is definitely a playground for kids on the beach.
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The Awakening Sculpture
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