Thursday, November 29, 2012
Masonic Symbolism at the IRS Building in Maryland
The two pillars are just 66.6 percent of artist Larry Kirkland 's sculptural work)
The IRS headquarters in New Carrollton, Maryland is a government building that, despite being constructed with public funds, contains art referring to elite secret societies. More importantly, the art conveys a strange message about the U.S. Constitution, and the American people in general. We'll look at the symbolic meaning of the art found in front of the IRS headquarters in Maryland.
Answer Man: The Big Hands of the Law
The two pillars are just 66.6 percent of artist Larry Kirkland 's sculptural work in front of what is technically, if rather drably, known as the Federal Building.
The centerpiece is a black granite pyramid etched with the U.S. Constitution. Across a little plaza are the two columns. Each is composed of alternating bands of black granite and white marble. (For some reason they reminded Answer Man of the Hamburglar 'soutfit.)
The most striking elements are the huge, white marble hands atop each column. Each hand points skyward, one with the forefinger extended; the other is an open hand, the fingers ever so slightly cupped.
They are open to many uncharitable interpretations: One hand doesn't know what the other hand is doing. The pointing hand is the IRS telling you to pay your taxes; the other is where you put the money.
So what's really going on?
The 1997 work is called "Vox Populi," which is Latin for "the voice of the people." The hand with the raised index finger represents deliberation, argument, the gesticulation of a speaker giving his or her opinion. The hand with an open palm represents the act of voting or taking an oath.
The columns are engraved with more hands, the profiles of people engaged in conversation and quotations from various well-known figures, including Ben Franklin , John Milton and Frederick Douglass . One catchy selection is from the late senator Margaret Chase Smith (R-Maine), whose basic forms of "Americanism" include "the right to criticize, the right to hold unpopular beliefs, the right to protest, the right of independent thought."