'Frogs in Common' - Atlas Obscura

Within Boston Common, there are numerous monuments, statues, and sculptures. Most are in memory of significant people and events that shaped Boston’s long history. There’s one series of sculptures though, dedicated not to people but to animals doing very ordinary human things. (As opposed to Make Way for Ducklings, which depicts animals doing ordinary animal things.) The peculiar anthropomorphic nature of Frogs in Common always seems to capture the attention of individuals passing by.

Despite its name, Boston Common’s Frog Pond isn’t a pond filled with frogs. Today it is an ice skating rink, although in the past there was an actual pond. Its name was coined by Revolutionary War soldiers who hunted the local frogs for food. Although the native amphibians are now gone, you can still spot a few frogs at the Frog Pond if you know where to look.

In 2002, sculptor David Philipps from nearby Medford, Massachusetts, unveiled a series of sculptures titled Frogs in Common. These life-sized frog statues are depicted doing various human activities complete with human names and hints of personality. Perhaps the most iconic is Tommy, who sits on an ice box holding a fishing rod with a bucket of worms nearby. Right next to him is Angela, who rests her chin on her hand in deep thought, reminiscent of August Rodin’s The Thinker. Directly across from those two is the Tadpole Playground, where even more sculptures are present. David can be seen on top of the gate wearing a bowtie and greeting visitors, Skippy is seen taking a nap and relaxing, Charlie is the local lifeguard complete with a lifebuoy and whistle, and Joann is passing the time snorkeling.

If you’re ever walking through Boston Common, the Frog Pond sculptures are certainly worth taking a quick look and feel free to join them in their activities.

In partnership with KAYAK

Plan Your Trip

From Around the Web