Boliou Fountain

Clifford Clark

Nestled next to the entrance of Boliou Hall (1949), home to the Art and Art History Department, sits the Boliou Fountain, a revolving sculpture made out of brass that contrasts with the rectilinear form of the building itself. Created by Raymond “Jake” Jacobson in 1966 as a part of the centennial celebration of the college’s founding, the sculptural fountain was designed to rotate fully once every eight days.

Jacobson came to teach at Carleton in 1955 and taught in the art department until 1986. He had grown up on a farm in Utah and loved the forms and sounds of nature. His sculptures capture the patterns of change, which are an essential part of the natural world. A rite of passage for art department students is often to splash in the fountain on a warm spring evening.

One of Jacobson’s students, Dale Fierke, said, “As students, he wanted us all to succeed in whatever we did; and his love for his own life and work was a powerful example of how to go about that. He was the real deal, no pretensions—a kind and generous, endlessly talented man who seemed to have figured out how to live a complete life in this world and was more than happy to help the rest of us do the same.”

Other sculptures by Jacobson can be found in the adjacent memorial to Jenny Bonner, in the Gould Library, and with the sundial in front of Laird Hall.