Philadelphia Public Art @philart.net

Artist: Boris Blai

Johnnie Ring
Boris Blai, 1958 (installed 1964)
* Statue of and tribute to Johnnie Ring
* small standing person wearing a hat, Bible, sword
* inscription:
"Johnnie Ring was the youth whose example in life and heroism in death provided inspiration that led to the founding of Temple University. In the war between the states he was personal orderly to Captain Russell H. Conwell of the 46th Massachusetts Infantry. The moving forces of his life at that time were his religious faith and his devotion to Captain Conwell. When a surprise Confederate attack routed Union troops, it was Johnnie Ring who raced across a flaming bridge and through enemy gunfire to retrieve from his commander's tent the ceremonial sword presented to the Captain by the city of Springfield. He brought back the sword, but he died that night of his burns as Conwell knelt by his cot in prayer. The incident turned Conwell to the ministry as a life work and later to the founding of Temple University. He vowed to live a life for Johnnie Ring as well as for himself. Eight hours of work a day for Johnnie, eight hours of work for his own. Except for Johnnie Ring, Conwell would never have told America the story of the acres of diamonds, nor would he have built the University that enabled multitudes of young men and women to realize the promise of education." -Russell Conwell Cooney
A lad who didn't die
1861-1958
* West side of Watts Walk, North of Berks Mall.
* 39.982575,-75.156525 [map]
* On the Temple Campus tour
* Exhibits: Religious, War




Russell Conwell
Boris Blai, 1968
* Bust of Russell Conwell
* big head
* Conwell and his wife, Sarah S. Conwell, are buried behind the sculpture
* inscription: Russell H. Conwell, Founder of Temple University, 1843-1925
* Conwell's burial site. Founder's Garden. East side of Liacouras Walk, just South of Berks Mall.
* 39.981350,-75.155700 [map]
* On the Temple Campus tour
* See also:
+findagrave.com entry for this piece
+wikipedia.org's Russell Conwell page


See Also

+Temple University Libraries: Boris Blai Personal Papers