A Great Place To 'Dilly Dally'


Sasson Soffer was an Iraqi Arab of Jewish descent. Soffer left Iraq after World War II. In 1948 Soffer went into hiding, ultimately escaping to Iran, then to the United States via Israel. Soffer was enrolled at CUNY Brooklyn College from 1950-1954.

In 1956, Soffer was invited to visit Maine, he enjoyed his time in Maine and purchased a property in Somerville. The Somerville house turned out to have a leaning chimney and when Soffer went to steel fabricator T.W. Dick Co. in Gardiner, Maine to inquire about a metal brace, owner Ralph Dick suggested that since Soffer was an artist he should try to make the brace himself. Ralph Dick died in 1968 and Myrtle Willey took over the mill. It was at T.W. Dick Co., where Soffer was introduced to welding and steel fabrication. For over 30 years Soffer collaborated with T.W. Dick Co. in the production of his large scale sculptures. For Soffer, Myrtle Willey represented continuity and continued opportunity.

Created in 1983 for a show at UMA, the sculpture “Dilly Dally” was donated to the City of Gardiner in 2017 by the Sasson Soffer Foundation. The sculpture was created with two I-beams rolled in reverse curly-cues, on top of a tripod base. You can find this sculpture at Waterfront Park.