Actor Leonard Nimoy’s character, Mr. Spock, is a celebrated part of American pop culture, and soon a 20-foot, illuminated sculpture will memorialize Spock’s “Live long and prosper” hand gesture, and the subtle message behind it.
The original Star Trek sci-fi television show only lasted for three seasons, but Mr. Spock, played by Nimoy, became legendary for his Vulcan dedication to logic and for the phrase, “Live long and prosper.” It was Nimoy himself who came up with the V-shaped hand gesture that accompanied the salutation, inspired by an ancient blessing preformed in his childhood synagogue.
Boston’s Museum of Science, in collaboration with Nimoy’s family and artist David Phillips, are on a mission to install a 20-foot, stainless steel monument, shaped like the Vulcan hand gesture, at the front of the museum to honor the actor and his message of peace.
Nimoy’s daughter Julie shared her sentiments about the project: “The ‘Live Long and Prosper’ symbol represents a message that my dad believed so strongly in. My dad always loved Boston and he would be honored knowing that the Museum of Science would be the permanent home to this memorial. The sculpture not only depicts one of the world’s most recognized and loved gestures for peace, tolerance, and diversity, but it will also be a beautiful tribute to my dad’s life and legacy.”
The actor, whose career spanned more than 60 years, was born just blocks from the Museum of Science, and his values of unity and tolerance stemmed from his early years as a Boston native. In the 1980s, he worked with the museum, providing the voice-over for the Mugar Omni Theater’s introduction film.
“Leonard Nimoy was one of our own,” said Tim Ritchie, president of the Museum of Science. “Growing up a few blocks from the Museum of Science, he never forgot his immigrant roots. He was, and forever will be, a beloved part of our museum family. He lifted our aspirations and hopes through his commitment to science, intellectual curiosity, generosity, and yes, logic. He reminded us about the best part of humanity and gave us a vision for building a society based on reason and tolerance. The opportunity to pay tribute to him is a great honor, and what better day to make this announcement than on what would have been his 90th birthday.”
Julie Nimoy and her husband David Knight also collaborated with the Museum of Science in 2017, producing the film, “Remembering Leonard Nimoy” which honors the actor’s life, legacy, and desire to create awareness for lung disease and prevention. Find more information on RememberingLeonardFilm.com.
The museum and Nimoy’s family’s next steps include the finalization of the site plan, fundraising, and construction. To donate to the memorial fund, visit MOS.org/Nimoy.