Austrian, b. 1921
8 ft. 10 in. x 58 in. x 49 in. (269.2 x 147.3 x 124.5 cm)
Gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation
© Estate of Karl Pfann
Photo by Jerry L. Thompson
Karl Pfann’s Trinity arrived at Storm King in 1961 without a title. In 1993, in response to an inquiry from Storm King, Pfann recalled an earlier working title, Dreieinigkeit, which translates to Trinity. Pfann remarked that he intended the title to resonate “not as much in a sacred sense, much more in a sense concerning the human being and his three parts: body, spirit, and soul.” Trinity became the sculpture’s new title. Pfann created Trinity at the 1960 Symposium of European Sculptors at St. Margarethen Quarry, Burgenland, in eastern Austria near the Hungarian border. The quarry goes back to the Roman era, and is the site of Austria’s oldest sculptors’ guild, founded in 1653. Its limestone is composed of clay and calcareous deposits from petrified algae, corals, and other crustaceous freshwater animals, fragments of which are sometimes embedded in the stone.