Abstract Sculptures of DC: Infinity

This sculpture was the first abstract work commissioned by the federal government.

José de Rivera’s Infinity seems almost impossible - the thin stainless steel ribbon rotates on top of its granite pedestal with total stability. Standing at 13½ feet tall, the delicate balancing act is one that repeats every 6 minutes as the ribbon completes its revolution. The ribbon’s design as a mobius strip (a surface with one continuous side formed by joining its ends after twisting one side 180°) creates an infinite loop, allowing it to rotate without interruption. Completed in 1967 and facing the National Mall, the intriguing sculpture has since attracted the attention of visitors to the National Museum of American History.

The sculpture, the first abstract work commissioned by the federal government in DC, represents time and technology, with the stainless steel ribbon symbolizing the continuous movement of both. The sculpture was fitting, for at the time of its unveiling, the National Museum of American History was named the National Museum of History and Technology.

Within the
Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site and National Mall Historic District.

This site is a stop on the Abstract Sculptures of DC tour.



1000 Constitution Ave NW, 20560