Corita’s Rainbow Swash on the Dorchester Gas Tank ~ Revisited

There’s a bit of a trip down memory lane over on Universal Hub Boston here with the overhead photo of the old Boston Gas tank in all its colorful splendor.

Just a bit of history on the painting of the original tank and the artist who created the design. The artist was a nun. In 1971, artist Sister Corita Kent (1918-1986) designed the rainbow swash which was painted on one of the storage tanks in Dorchester. The storage tank was eventually demolished in 1992 and the owner at that time – KeySpan – repainted another tank – preserving this iconic image. Corita Kent was an anti-war nun until 1967 when she left her Catholic order and her position as head of the art department at Immaculate Heart College. Corita Kent is also famous for the 1985 United States postage stamp “Love,” which sold hundreds of millions of copies. Reminding us that art is sometimes “in the eye of the beholder,” Corita’s anti-war stance had some believing that a part of the artistic swatch of paint looked like Ho-Chi Minh’s profile or at least his nose! Corita – as this graphic artist is known – was visited at Immaculate Heart College by such people as Buckminster Fuller and the Berrigans.

Watch for the art of the Dorchester gas tank clearly visible on the east side of I-93 about 2 miles south of downtown Boston.

Learn more about Corita Kent here. and in an interview here at facimile magazine.

One Response to Corita’s Rainbow Swash on the Dorchester Gas Tank ~ Revisited

  1. Kosta says:

    Every time that I drive by the tank (not often) I feel a little better than before. We’ve had discussion about what we can do with a Lowell smokestacks – how to add a layer of art to them. Yes, the Christmas one is great.