Shattering Silence
Art Type
Media / Materials
Year Completed
State of Iowa - Iowa Department of Public Safety
Latitude & Longitude
41.588363, -93.60321
Location Description
West grounds of the Judicial Building, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines.

Shattering Silence

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The sculpture is adjacent to the building that houses the Iowa Supreme Court and at the top of the hill overlooking the Des Moines skyline. It is in commemoration of the 170th anniversary of the landmark 1839 Iowa Territorial Supreme Court ruling that prohibited slave Ralph Montgomery from being extradited back to Missouri after he failed to raise the $550 he promised to pay to buy his freedom. The Iowa Art Council’s newsletter describes the art as a commemoration of “those moments when Iowa has been at the forefront of breaking the silence of inequality and commemorates those Iowans who refused to stand by silently when they saw injustice.”

Shattered Silence