The Thinker
The Thinker statue at the front of Grawmeyer Hall

For 70 years, The Thinker has been lost in thought on Grawmeyer Hall’s front steps. He serves as an enduring figure on an ever-changing campus and an icon for the oldest of alumni and the youngest of students.

Associate Professor of Arts History Christopher Fulton views The Thinker as a fitting symbol for UofL’s campus and students.

“What it represents is the labor of thinking and education,” said Fulton. “Especially because we are a public educational institution, and many of our students struggle or strive to receive an education.”

While many castings of The Thinker exist around the world, UofL’s is the first large-scale bronze cast. It was personally supervised by Auguste Rodin in Paris and completed in 1904. Before reaching UofL in 1949, it spent 45 years traveling. See our interactive timeline below to follow The Thinker’s journey to campus and his time here: