A flock of colorful flamingos – nearly 2000 – have arrived in Seaport Common! These locally made pink flamingo lawn ornaments were designed by the late Massachusetts artist, Don Featherstone.
Coming as a surprise to many, the original pink lawn flamingo was invented here in Massachusetts in 1957 when Don Featherstone was tasked to sculpt a new lawn object for the Leominster, Massachusetts based company, Union Products. Featherstone, a Massachusetts native who had never seen a flamingo in real life, playfully sketched out a design by referring to photos in National Geographic Magazine, and his masterpiece was born. In the post World War II era, his pink flamingo quickly grew in popularity, and lawns all over the country were soon adorned with the colorful plastic birds, igniting conversations of class, conjuring thoughts of exotic travels, and providing no shortage of humor. The quirky creation became so famous that it won Featherstone an Ig Nobel Art Prize from Improbable Research Magazine in 1966. Today, Featherstone’s original pink flamingos continue to be manufactured by Union Products, and are world renowned for their design elements – stick thin legs, elegant curved necks, feather detailing, and Featherstone’s signature on their stomach.
So be on the lookout for a pop of summer in the form a flamingos when you’re in the Seaport!
Image via Harvey Traveler via Instagram