Dreiser – Shadows of Meaning is a unique sculpture that contains an engaging collection of writer Theodore Dreiser’s phrases gathered from his works. It offers viewers a varied experience, depending on their distance from the sculpture as well as the daily path of the sun which, on occasion, will create shadows of Dreiser’s words on the pavement, reminiscent of his quote: “Words are but vague shadows of the volumes we mean. Little audible links, they are, chaining together great inaudible feelings and purposes.”

Theodore Dreiser, born in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1871, is often known as the “father of American Naturalism.” His writing style had a tremendous influence on his contemporaries as well as many writers today. He is the author of eight novels and numerous short stories, drama, poetry, and non-fiction works, including his most widely known Sister Carrie and An American Tragedy.

Experience the words of Dreiser in the shadows cast by this sculpture:

“A thought will color a world for us.” (Sister Carrie, Chapter VI)

“How true it is that words are but the vague shadows of the volumes we mean.” (Sister Carrie, Chapter I)

“The literature of every nation reflects the temperament of its people.” (Theodore Dreiser Interviews, p. 16)

“Our first great duty then is to learn to think.” (Theodore Dreiser Interviews, p. 68)

“So concerned am I with certain phases of our national life and the life of the world itself that I cannot keep silent.” (Letters of Theodore Dreiser, v. 1, p. 385)

“I respect all people who love flowers.” (Hoosier Holiday, p. 451)

Jeanine Centuori and Russell Rock are co-founders and principals. Centuori is a licensed architect and Director of the Architecture of Civic Engagement Center (ACE) at Woodbury University in Burbank, California.  Her professional and academic work has been awarded, published, and recognized nationally. Rock is a practicing artist of 29 years who received an MFA from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Most of his recent artwork has been public in nature, created collaboratively with Centuori. He also brings to the team many years of experience in urban design.

Additional Information:

Located near the north entrance of the Vigo County Public Library main branch on Walnut Street.

Aluminum and Powder Coated Aluminum

9’0″ high, 11’5″ wide, 2’2″ deep

Art Spaces gratefully acknowledges:

  • The Hollie and Anna Oakley Foundation
  • Wabash Valley Community Foundation
  • Duke Energy Foundation
  • Friends of Vigo County Public Library
  • ST Construction, Inc.,
  • The International Theodore Dreiser Society