NEW LONDON — Our favorite sculpture on the campus of Connecticut College is “The Dangers and Pleasures of Co-Education” by William McCloy. Set in Castle Court near the college’s fine arts center, it depicts two semi-abstract figures in black metal silhouette engaged at close quarters, possibly in hand-to-hand combat, possibly in a more intimate activity. McCloy was chairman of the art department when the college went co-ed in 1969, and created this bronze six years later just as the tsunami of the sexual revolution was breaking over campuses all across the country.
Celebration or cautionary tale? It’s hard to tell, but even 45 years later, “Dangers and Pleasures” retains the power to prompt debate and discussion — which might be the main reason to have large outdoor sculpture all over a college campus.