Hoboken man creates art exhibit of stone faces found all along city’s architecture

McKevin Shaughnessy never noticed all the faces looking out at him until he took a moment to look up.

News 12 Staff

Mar 29, 2021, 12:45 PM

Updated 1,209 days ago

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McKevin Shaughnessy never noticed all the faces looking out at him until he took a moment to look up.
“You’re seeing something that is looking back at you and it’s been there maybe over 100 years,” he says.
When Shaughnessy found himself working less last year because of the pandemic, the longtime Hoboken resident started to notice all the architecture around him. He says that he found that he has been missing something for the 40 years that he has lived there that now fascinates him.
“I get a nice feeling inside. It’s a positive thing for me,” he says.
Shaughnessy took out his camera and started photographing the sculpted heads of people and animals on Hoboken's historic buildings. He's taken so many shots that there is now an exhibit of his work at the Hoboken Historical Museum.
The exhibit is called the Hidden Faces of Hoboken. It depicts the detailed work of craftspeople from the 1880s through the 1920s.
Shaughnessy has counted 560 heads on businesses and homes throughout the city. But he says that this number can change at any moment because one can never know when another one will pop out at them.
He says that if it wasn’t for the pandemic giving him pause, he might never have taken the time to notice.
“I would still be locked in my own thoughts – something I had to do today, or what I was going to cook for dinner,” he says.
He says that all the faces took him outside of himself and that they are not so hidden any longer.
The exhibit is on view through April 25.


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