Title: Alley Oop
Creator: Unknown Servicemen
Date: 1940-1949, installed at Griffiss 2016
Medium: concrete, paint
In the 1940's, a 15 foot tall Alley Oop stood guard outside the barracks at the Griffiss military base, first dressed as an Army soldier, then as a member of the Air Force. He had been created by some Army construction workers in their spare time. He was named after a prehistoric cartoon caveman from that time, and became a well-loved symbol of military might. At some point in the early 1950's he was carted away, but found years later hidden away under tall weeds.
He had been covered with his share of graffiti, but now he's been cleaned up, with a fresh coat of paint providing a new uniform. In 2016 he was installed once again and is proudly displayed to the public at Griffiss. He's still a giant, but now a slightly shorter one: at some point over the years his legs were cut off below the knee. As with so many who have served, he maintains his dignity and strength despite a physical change. Stand next to him for a photo and you'll realize how big he still is.
Inscription: " 'ALLEY OOP' / CREATED IN THE 1940S, ALLEY OOP ONCE STOOD WATCH / OUTSIDE THE BARRACKS OF THE FORMER ROME AIR DEPOT. / NAMED AFTER THE PREHISTORIC COMIC STRIP CHARACTER, / SERVICEMEN CRAFTED THE STATUE IN THEIR SPARE TIME / TO GUARD THE FACILITY. / THANKS TO THE TIRELESS EFFORTS OF RETIRED AIR FORCE / SERGEANT EDWIN 'SQUARE' WANCEWICZ, ALLEY OOP WAS / REINSTALLED IN 2015 AND STANDS AS A TESTAMENT TO THE / PARK'S RICH MILITARY HISTORY. / MAY 20, 2016" on a plaque on a stone marker nearby
Subject: Public art, Outdoor sculpture
Rights: This work is in the public domain because it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1977 and without a copyright notice.
Location: Griffiss International Sculpture Garden, Rome, along Hill Road