Department of Music


Monody Sculpture Jean Woodham (b. 1925), artist

Standing at the front entrance of Goodwin Hall is the soaring 15-foot sculpture, Monody, one of Auburn University’s most striking sights. Commissioned by the Goodwins, the bronze sculpture (or ‘the bronze,’ as they say) was created by sculptor Jean Woodham in 1979. It is comprised of five forms which begin first as flat planes at the base, get narrow as they move upward, and blossom at the top as the planes curve. Monody is defined in the Dedication Program as “…a Greek Ode, sung by a single voice.” Woodham wanted to communicate “the feeling that music rises from the earth, soars to the heavens, and elevates the human spirit.”

Jean Woodham is one of America’s most noted sculptors and one of the first to apply industrial methods to outdoor sculpture. Her large outdoor sculptures are highly regarded and can be seen around the world gracing museums, government buildings, schools, corporate headquarters and outdoor spaces. More than 150 pieces are in public and private collections. Woodham is an Auburn graduate (class of ’46) and former AU art professor. She also created Spinoff, the 11.5-foot brass sculpture donated to the Jule Collins Smith Museum in memory of her parents.

More about Woodham’s work can be learned in “The sculpture of Jean Woodham: a fifty year retrospective,” a published catalog of an exhibition held at AU in 1996 and Stamford, CT in 1998.

Article in the New York Times

Last Updated: April 30, 2019