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The Stories of Vail

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Einstein Bench

With its breathtaking views and sublime vibe, Vail is the perfect place for Albert Einstein to ponder his theory of relativity. It’s also the perfect place for him to chat about his scientific theories with passersby. Take a seat with him on the park bench to see for yourself! This bronze Einstein sculpture in the heart of Vail Village is one of the most photographed statues in town.

It’s officially part of Art in Public Places, the Town of Vail’s public art collection, which contains more than 40 works ranging from sculptures to murals, from playground components to site-integrated art. Don’t miss Art in Public Places Wednesday Art Walks or learn about all works on their interactive art map.

Who Created the Sculpture?

Artist Gary Lee Price created the Einstein sculpture, which is part of the artist’s “Great Contributors” series. Other sculptures in the series, located around the country, include:

  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Amelia Earhart
  • Harriet Tubman
  • George Washington
  • Joan of Arc
  • Claude Monet
  • Mark Twain

A member of the National Sculpture Society, Price has works in public and private collections all over the world. His 1981 degree from the University of Utah is actually in painting and drawing, but he obviously made a successful transition into sculpture.

What Does Artist Price like About Einstein?

Price loves Einstein’s freethinking and eccentricities. Not to mention one of his longtime favorite quotes:“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” He said creating Einstein was exciting, thanks to the “sheer visual richness” of the subject. The thick hair. The strong facial features. The casual dress. Price wanted to portray the genius as approachable and inviting, as if he were beckoning you to come chat with him on the bench.

Tell Me More About Einstein

Einstein didn’t like socks, so he never wore them. He didn’t like haircuts, either. Sailing and bird watching were two of his passions, as was the violin. He was enchanted by his mother’s violin playing and learned to play the instrument himself. He adored music so much that he once said if he weren’t a scientist, he’d be a musician.

Born in Germany, Einstein renounced his German citizenship in 1896. He became a Swiss citizen in 1901 and died an American citizen in 1955. He died in Princeton, New Jersey….and is now forever immortalized in Vail.

Einstein by the Numbers

  • 5: Age at which Einstein learned to play the violin
  • 10: Minimum hours of sleep Einstein said he needed each day
  • 16: Age at which Einstein wrote his first theoretical physics essay, “On the Investigation of the State of Ether in a Magnetic Field”
  • 15: How much larger (by percentage) the parietal lobe in Einstein’s brain was compared to the average brain. The parietal lobe processes sensory information received from the outside world, such as temperature, taste and touch.
  • 1921: Year in which Einstein won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his services to Theoretical Physics, particularly for discovering the law of the photoelectric effect
  • 1905: The most notable year in Einstein’s life, with accomplishments that included:
    • Publishing four papers
    • Producing his most creative work
    • Coming up with E=MC2, the most famous equation in the world
  • 26: Age of Einstein in 1905
  • 76: Age of Einstein when he died in 1955

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