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Branches of Baltimore History

Eli Siegel Stone in Druid Hill Park

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Swann Drive & Mansion House Drive (Street Viewapproximate)

GPS: 39° 19′ 1.16″ N 76° 38′ 29.32″ W


Eli Siegel was a poet and philosopher during his storied life, creating a body of work that few in his generation can match. He was also an extremely polarizing figure, gaining ardent supporters along with staunch opponents. Born in Baltimore, Siegel, however, spent most of his life in Greenwich Village, New York City.

In the 1930s he was master of ceremonies for a popular poetry and jazz night, known for his charged readings of his work. When he was subsequently fired from this job he started the Aesthetic Realism movement, continuing to teach until his 1978 suicide. In 2002, a monument was dedicated in Druid Hill Park in his honor. Then Mayor Martin O’Malley declared August 16 Eli Siegel day in Charm City and a generous ceremony took place at the stone’s unveiling.


Artist Chaim Koppelman was commissioned to create the monument. Koppelman began studying under Siegel in 1940, and is on the faculty of the Aesthetic Realism Foundation. His work, primarily sketches and drawings, can be found in the Archives of American Art.



Written by monumentcity

May 12th, 2009 at 1:44 pm