Struggle and Joy in the Druid Hill Park Memorial Pool was an historical overview and personal interpretation of Joyce Scott’s 1999 public art project Memorial Pool located in Druid Hill Park. The essay was edited by Marcus Civin and originally published in What Weekly online magazine as part of their William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund funded series of Baltimore art reviews.

Struggle and Joy in the Druid Hill Park Memorial Pool

I recently moved in across the street from Druid Hill Park. A friend told me about a place little-known to neighborhood outsiders—a once abandoned public pool now filled in with dirt, covered in grass and framed with sumptuous, meandering walkways designed by celebrated Baltimore artist Joyce J. Scott. Wandering through the park on a warm, sunny afternoon, I discovered the large, rectangular grassy field framed by cobalt blue ceramic tiles, expansive marble steps and forgotten structures belonging to what was once Baltimore’s only segregation era public pool for African-Americans. Long cherished by generations of residents formerly restricted to only certain park facilities, the dignified yet understated Memorial Pool remains as a landscape of memory honoring the pride and struggles of Baltimore’s black community. …

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