Skip Navigation

Visiting Dana-Farber? See our prescreening and mask requirements.


  • Conductor/Composer by Anne Lilly
  • Anne Lilly
    Conductor/Composer, 2016
    Stainless steel, motor, battery and electronics
    38”h x 38”l x 38”d
    Gift of Jane B. Mayer & Robert J. Mayer, MD

    Kinetic sculptor Anne Lilly uses carefully engineered motion to shift and manipulate our perceptions of time, place and self, and her precisely constructed sculptures move in organic, fluid and mesmeric ways.

    Lilly holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech, and has taught at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Massachusetts College of Art. She received the Barnett and Analee Newman Foundation Grant Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Blanche E. Colman Grant, visiting artist positions at the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum, MIT, and the Art Institute of Boston. Her work was included in the landmark 14-month exhibition of kinetic art at the MIT Museum, and her work is included in the collections of the DeCordova Museum, the New Britain Museum of American Art, the Middlebury College Museum of Art, and numerous corporate and private collectors internationally.

  • Conductor/Composer, 2016

  • Conductor/Composer was the culminating work in a series of pieces that investigated the movement of many linear elements stacked in parallel vertical layers. This intriguing sculpture, fabricated in machined stainless steel, is an exploration of the question of how to support the circle with only one spoke that does not reach the center of the circle. This configuration requires careful counterbalancing and creates significant visual asymmetry and irregular movement. The circles independently bob and float with unusual buoyancy and changing speeds.

    The title refers to friends of the artist who purchased the first of the edition of this work. The husband is the conductor of a local symphony, and the wife is a musician, music teacher and composer. Ms. Lilly felt that the sculpture’s motion corresponded meaningfully with thoughts about music, also with the idea of two lives mutually dedicated to music.