Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s way with the written word, in the landmark speeches and sermons he wrote, was key to his impact as an orator and leader. These writings are highlighted in Fragments, a permanent installation created by Pentagram for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. The installation features passages from King’s handwritten speeches and letters, incised in metal and illuminated by light, showcasing the power, beauty and eloquence of King’s language and its importance to his message.
Pentagram worked closely with Lauren Tate Baenza, the museum’s Head of Content, on the installation, which welcomes visitors to the Center’s Voices to the Voiceless Gallery. The artwork is timed to commemorate what would have been King’s 90th birthday and opened as part of “The Meaning of Hope: The Best of the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection,” an exhibition of King’s papers housed at the Center.
The Fragments installation spans 38 feet and is constructed of 50 metal panels, laser cut to exactly match King’s handwriting and dramatically backlit to glow from within. The installation captures King’s ideas as they developed on paper, offering an intimate view of the leader’s thought process. A key identifies the original source of each fragment.
The arrangement complements the 38-foot-tall portrait mosaics of King that hang in the central staircase leading to the Gallery. Pentagram previously designed the large mural in the Center’s main lobby that has become an icon of the museum.