Joseph S. Wheelwright


Boston sculptor Joe Wheel­wright died on the evening of September 28 after a deter­mined but peaceful struggle with cancer. He was 68. He died in the candlelight at his home in Dorchester, attended by his wife and two daughters.

A longtime shaper of stone and wood, Joe co-founded the Bos­ton Sculptors Gallery and the Humphreys Street Studios, two important collaboratives for lo­cal artists. His own work was daring in scale–his pieces could be monumental or miniature–and was wryly imaginative. His best-known public art is “Sleep­ing Moon” at Peabody Square, Dorchester. At the DeCordova Sculpture Park in Lincoln, Joe carved a boulder into a great inquisitive head, one ear cocked to the ground, which he called “Listening Stone.”

Joe was a provocative and pithy man, fond of quoting his rela­tive Henry Thoreau. Although he lived in the private world of the artist, he had an ex­traordinary number of friends, whose affection he gracefully returned. Apart from his un­wavering love for his wife, Susan, Joe reserved his deep­est feelings for New England’s rocks and trees and, above all, for the moon, which had fasci­nated him since childhood.

Joe will be buried privately in Vermont. There will be a me­morial service in Boston later in the fall. Details will be posted at the website and at, where you may leave your thoughts about dear Joe.