4 Minutes of DU’s Sights & Sounds: Bullet Proof Sculpture and Carnegie Green

The campus is shut down but some students are still on campus along with locals strolling Carnegie Green with their kids and dogs. Take a few minutes to enjoy an afternoon on the Green with the ‘Bullet Proof’ sculpture, created during another time of uncertainty at the University of Denver.

Charles O. Perry, Bullet Proof Campus Art, 1973

Location: Outside Anderson Academic Commons, Southwest Corner

Charles O. Perry’s 1973 abstract sculpture celebrated independence of thought and the rebellious spirit of the time. The sculpture by Perry (1929-2011) was strongly recommended by Gyo Obata, principal architect of the 1972 Penrose Library., now Academic Commons. Obata wrote to Perry, asking him to design a “bullet-proof” sculpture that would stand up to unruly students, explaining that DU required this assurance (in May of 1970, students had occupied the current site of Penrose Library during the “Woodstock West” anti-war protest 50 years ago this upcoming May).

Perry responded with a design for a sculpture in his signature geometric style, titled ‘Bullet Proof Campus Art’ – and, perhaps, a name with a not so subtle reference to the Kent State student shooting during the Vietnam War which triggered Woodstock West protests on the DU campus. Obata wanted the piece to complete the library’s main entrance, but DU would not provide the funds. The architect bought the sculpture himself and donated it to the University. 

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