Beautiful for its art and its intrinsic realism, Waltz of the Polypeptides, a sculpture by Mara Haseltine, is now grazing grounds of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) welcomes the arrival of Waltz of the Polypeptides, a sculpture that dramatically brings the worlds of art and science together in a way that both scientists and the public can enjoy.
Created by New York City-based artist Mara G. Haseltine, the eighty foot long, ten foot high sculpture depicts a subcellular protein factory called a ribosome caught in the act of producing the BLyS protein, which stimulates the production of infection-fighting antibodies in the body.
“I am delighted that Waltz of the Polypeptides has such a distinguished home,” said Haseltine, whose works incorporate her interest in natural sciences, psychology, and the environment. “Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is the birthplace of much of modern biology. Scientists there have laid the foundation for a lot of what we know about individual genes, the genetic code, and how the information stored in the genome is used to make the proteins of life…”
The sculpture is comprised of seven structures, each of which is derived from that of the actual biological forms, observed using scanning electron microscopy, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and X-ray crystallography.
The complete work rests in a carefully landscaped setting that is an integral part of the work. It occupies a prominent site on the CSHL campus, adjacent to Dolan Hall, a residence center for visiting scientists, and the Beckman research building.