The 58-ton Bolt of Lightning refers to the famous experiment in which Franklin flew a kite in an electrical storm. A four-legged painted-steel base supports an image of the key that Franklin attached to the kite. On top of the key is the lightning bolt, a 45-foot truss clad with multifaceted stainless steel plates. From the bolt emerges a 23-foot tubular steel structure with a representation of the kite—all balanced by the tension of four steel guy cables. The cables appeared in Noguchi's 1933 drawings, symbolizing, he said, the eternal and essential contact between air and earth. Jules Fisher and Paul Marantz created the dramatic lighting.
Artwork - Sculpture
Adapted from Public Art in Philadelphia by Penny Balkin Bach (Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1992).