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Phone: 312-927-6795

Email: boboneill@grantparkconservancy.com

Grant Park Conservancy

330 South Michigan #1505

Chicago, IL 60604

Grant Park Sculptures

8th Street Fountain

 

LOCATION: East of S. Michigan Avenue on axis with E. 8th Street

INSTALLED: 1927

ARCHITECTS: Bennett, Parsons, and Frost

 

Architect and planner Edward H. Bennett (1874–1954) worked closely with Daniel H. Burnham for many years and together they co-authored the 1909 Plan of Chicago. After Burnham died in 1912, Bennett became the consulting architect to the Chicago Plan Commission and the South Park Commission hired him to complete the plans for Grant Park. Following Burnham’s earlier vision, Bennett adhered to a classical vocabulary for the park. He relied on formal symmetry and created outdoor rooms defined by tree allées, lawn panels, gardens, walkways, terraces and fountains. Besides the monumental Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain, the 8th Street Fountain, which was also constructed in 1927, is the last of Bennett’s original fountains for Grant Park. Although much more modest in design and scale, the 8th Street Fountain is classically-inspired. It is composed of cast ornamental concrete with exposed pink granite aggregate.

A. Montgomery Ward Bust

 

LOCATION: East of S. Michigan Avenue on axis with E.11th Street

SCULPTED: 1972

INSTALLED IN GRANT PARK: 1993

RELOCATED: 2005

SCULPTOR:  Milton Horn

 

Aaron Montgomery Ward (1844–1913) founded the world’s first mail-order retail business in 1872 in Chicago —which soon evolved into the nation’s leading department store chain. In 1890, Ward began a twenty-year legal battle to keep Grant Park “open, free, and clear.” He withstood intense public criticism for his campaign to prevent the construction of the Field Museum and other buildings on Chicago’s “front yard.” During his third lawsuit in 1909, Ward told the Chicago Tribune, “Had I known in 1890 how long it would take me to preserve a park for the people against their will I doubt if I would have undertaken it.”

 

Despite extreme costs in terms of both reputation and his own personal fortune, Ward continued with a fourth lawsuit in the State Supreme Court, which he won in 1910. Created by Russian-American artist Milton Horn (1906–1995), the sculpture is a scaled-down version of a larger bust that was added in 1972 to a series memorializing significant Chicago businessmen at the Merchandise Mart Hall of Fame. In 1993, Montgomery Ward & Company’s corporate office donated the smaller version. The Montgomery Ward Foundation and the Friends of the Parks provided funds for its installation in Grant Park. Although the sculpture was removed six years later to make way for Millennium Park, it was rededicated in 2005 at its current site on the southwest side of Grant Park. The bust honors Ward’s role as “watch dog of the lakefront.” Its plaque reads, in part, “Grant Park is his legacy to the city he loved… his gift to the future.”

Abraham Lincoln, Head of State Seated Lincoln

 

LOCATION: Court of Presidents, north of E. Congress Parkway and west of S. Columbus Drive

 

SCULPTED: 1908

DEDICATED: 1926

SCULPTOR: Augustus Saint-Gaudens

ARCHITECT: Stanford White

 

The solemn Seated Lincoln is one of two Abraham Lincoln monuments in Chicago created by Irish-born sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848–1907) who is lauded as one of America’s greatest nineteenth century artists. While some consider his Standing Lincoln in Lincoln Park superior to this sculpture, others feel that the Seated Lincoln is especially successful for evoking the sense of loneliness that burdened Lincoln during the Civil War.Saint-Gaudens spent twelve years on this sculpture which was finally cast in 1908 —a year after his death.

 

After its completion; however, the monument was not installed in Grant Park for another twenty years. Philanthropist John Crerar (1827–1889) had left a sizeable endowment for a new library and “a colossal statue of Abraham Lincoln” years earlier. However, the site for these features proved to be a highly contested issue. Chicago’s famous architect and planner Daniel H. Burnham wanted to install the Abraham Lincoln, along with a George Washington monument, near a proposed new Field Museum building — intended as the centerpiece of Grant Park. The scheme was problematic because early restrictions prohibited the construction of buildings in the park. Mail-order magnate Aaron Montgomery Ward launched a series of lawsuits to protect the lakefront open space. After Ward won the final suit in 1910, development of the park continued to be delayed for several years. During that period, the Seated Lincoln was displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and at the 1915 San Francisco Exposition. In 1924, the South Park Commissioners finally agreed upon the sculpture’s permanent site on the north side of what would be known as the Court of Presidents.

 

Two years later the bronze figure was finally erected on a 150-foot-wide marble setting designed by architect Stanford White. Although the commissioners had hoped to mirror the Lincoln with a George Washington sculpture, this was never realized, and the Seated Lincoln remains as the only permanent monument on the Court of Presidents.

Agora

 

LOCATION: East of S. Michigan Avenue and north of E. Roosevelt Road

INSTALLED: 2006

SCULPTOR: Magdalena Abakanowicz

 

Comprised of 106 nine-foot-tall headless torsos, Agora is one of the most important and extensive sculptural installations in Chicago’s recent history. The artwork gets its name from the Greek word for meeting place. The cast iron figures are arranged in interesting groupings. Some are frozen in positions that suggest great movement, while others appear to be standing completely still. Most of them are in monumental crowds, although some appear to be pulling away from the larger group.

 

Valued at more than $3 million, the 2006 installation is the work of internationally-acclaimed sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz. The Parkways Foundation received generous gifts from the Polish Ministry of Culture, Association of Fine Art Zacheta Wielkopolska, and numerous private donors for the project. Abakanowicz donated her time as did a group of dedicated Polish artists who helped her construct the pieces in Poznan, Poland.

 

Abakanowicz first created sculptures inspired by the human form in the 1970s. Initially working in burlap and resin, she went on to use bronze, steel, as well as iron —the material used for Agora. Even before this prominent project, Chicago was an important city to Abakanowicz. Her initial American restrospective exhibit was held here in 1982 at the Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2001 she exhibited 95 Figures from the Crowd of One Thousand-Ninety Five Figures, at the Chicago Cultural Center. While Abakanowicz’s work can be seen in museums and public spaces throughout the world, Agora is her largest permanent installation.

 

Artists and Automobiles

 

LOCATION: Court of Presidents, south of E. Congress Parkway and east of S. Columbus Drive

INSTALLED: 2006

SCULPTORS: Dessa Kirk, Lucy Slivinski, John Mason

 

In 2006, Allstate Insurance Company sponsored the Artists and Automobiles exhibit in honor of the company’s 75th anniversary. The Public Art Program of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs partnered with the Chicago Park District to organize this show which highlighted the work of five artists. Allstate provided old car parts that the sculptors used to create the artworks.

 

Today, the installations of three of the artists remain in Grant Park. These are the works of artists Dessa Kirk, John Mason and Lucy Slivinski. Dessa Kirk’s enormous red Lilies are made of doors, hoods, trunks and roofs from several Cadillacs. John Mason’s Arise 2 presents a somewhat more abstract version of a large flower. Lucy Slivinski’s Hedgerow is a garden feature composed of entwined mufflers, tailpipes, and headlights.

 

Big Beaver Totem Pole

 

LOCATION: North of Field Museum

INSTALLED: 1982

CARVER: Norman Tait

OWNER: Field Museum of Natural History

 

The Women’s Board of the Field Museum of Natural History commissioned the Big Beaver Totem Pole in honor of a permanent exhibit about the Maritime Peoples of the Arctic and Northwest Coast which opened in 1982. Norman Tait, a member of the Nishga’a Band, Tsimshian Tribe of British Columbia, carved the totem pole. The son of a carver, Tait (b. 1941) is committed to retaining the tribal traditions of his people. When he began carving in 1970, he studied Nishga’a artifacts and because there were no living master carvers within the tribe, he trained under Haida carvers Freda Diesing and Gerry Marks. Tait is now teaching younger generations of his family to create totem poles.Tait’s Chicago totem pole was his first permanent installation in the Americas. The fifty-five-foot-tall monument explains Tait’s family ancestry and the origin of the beaver as its clan symbol. It depicts a legend in which five brothers go on a beaver hunt. The youngest brother discovers the spiritual powers of beavers and helps two of them escape. The Field Museum sponsored a traditional Niscga’a tribal ceremony with costumes and dancing during the unveiling of the totem pole.

Central Station Fragments

 

LOCATION: West of Metra Tracks and north of E. Roosevelt Road

SCULPTED: 1893

INSTALLED: 2004

ARCHITECT: Bradford L. Gilbert

OWNER: Metra

 

Composed of Milford granite, this pair of architectural fragments is almost entirely all that remains of Chicago’s famous Central Station, which stood at the southwest edge of Grant Park from 1893 until its demolition in the mid-1970s. Bradford Lee Gilbert (1853–1911), who served as the consulting architect to more than a dozen railroad companies, designed the massive Romanesque style building. It served as a bustling station for the Illinois Central Railroad Company. These ornate granite blocks were part of an enormous arch through which passengers passed when first arriving in Chicago. Cultural historian Tim Samuelson considers these fragments a powerful symbol because the station served as a “virtual Ellis Island of the rails for hundreds of thousands of African-American southerners who escaped the boot of Jim Crow between World War I and 1960.” Samuelson explains that for many African-Americans who arrived in Chicago during the Great Migration, “catching sight of Central Station” was similar to the first glimpse of Lady Liberty” the European immigrants had when landing by boat in New York Harbor.

Chicago Stock Exchange Arch

LOCATION: Southwest corner of S. Columbus Drive and E. Monroe Street

SCULPTED: 1893

INSTALLED: 1977

SCULPTOR: Adler & Sullivan

OWNER: Art Institute of Chicago

 

During the late nineteenth century, architect Louis Henri Sullivan (1856–1924) created a new and honest expression in the design of buildings, inspiring a genre known as Chicago School of Architecture. While many other architects adhered to fanciful historical styles which were very popular at the time, Sullivan created buildings that expressed their structural design, relying only upon simple and organic ornamentation to embellish their facades. The Chicago Stock Exchange, designed by Sullivan with his partner, Dankmar Adler, was widely considered an architectural masterpiece. Constructed in 1893, the thirteen-story building incorporated Sullivan’s signature ornamentation that combined geometric forms with expressions of natural foliage.

 

In the 1960s and 1970s, many beautiful nineteenth century buildings in Chicago were demolished to make way for new development. In an effort to inspire preservation efforts, photographer Richard Nickel (1928–1972) began to document old buildings as they fell into decay or were slated for demolition. As Nickel struggled to find support to save monuments like the Chicago Stock Exchange Building, he asserted: “Great architecture has only two natural enemies: water and stupid men.” Sadly, Nickel died in 1972 when a staircase collapsed on him inside the Chicago Stock Exchange Building. Despite a strong public movement opposing the demolition of the architectural masterpiece, the building was razed in 1972. After the demolition, the Art Institute of Chicago acquired the building’s terra cotta arch, along with several other original fragments. Using a gift from the Heller Foundation, the Art Institute installed the iconic arch in a small plaza just northeast of the museum in 1977. Around the same time, the Art Institute opened a reconstructed version of Adler & Sullivan’s Stock Exchange Trading Room as part of the museum’s East Wing Addition.

Christopher Columbus

 

LOCATION: East of S. Columbus Drive and north of E. Roosevelt Road

INSTALLED: 1933

SCULPTOR: Carl Brioschi

ARCHITECT: Clarence H. Johnston

 

Chicagoans of Italian descent donated Grant Park’s Christopher Columbus monument, which they dedicated on Italian Day in 1933 at A Century of Progress, Chicago’s second World’s Fair. During the ceremony—attended by tens of thousands— Bishop Bernard J. Shiel blessed the monument. The Depression Era monument not only commemorated the arrival of Christopher Columbus (1451–1506) to the New World, but also conveyed the spirit of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. Carl Brioschi (1879–1941) produced the bronze figurative sculpture of Columbus. Born in Milan, Brioschi received artistic training in Italy before immigrating to New York at the turn of the century.

 

He eventually settled in Minnesota, where he produced a sculptural bas-relief for the interior of the State Capitol Building. Brioshi collaborated with St. Paul architect Clarence H. Johnston on the design of the Christopher Columbus monument’s pedestal and setting. The Art Deco style granite base features carved depictions of the Santa Maria, one of the three ships that sailed to the New World from Spain; Paolo Toscanelli, the famous astronomer and mathematician who charted the course of the journey; Columbus’ tutor Amerigo Vespucci, who theorized that the world was round and for whom America was named; and the city seal of Genoa, Columbus’ birthplace. On the four corners of the base, sculptural busts represent Faith, Courage, Freedom, and Strength.

Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain

 

LOCATION: Between S. Columbus Drive and S. Lake Shore Drive on axis with E. Congress Parkway

INSTALLED: 1927

ARCHITECT: Edward Bennett (Bennett, Parsons & Frost)

SCULPTOR: Marcel Francois Loyau

ENGINEER: Jacques H. Lambert

 

Completed in 1927, Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain is the centerpiece of Grant Park—“Chicago’s Front Yard.” Architect Edward H. Bennett (1874–1954) had envisioned a monumental fountain to serve as the park’s formal focal point without obstructing the views of Lake Michigan. Philanthropist and art patron Kate Sturges Buckingham (1858–1937) donated one million dollars for the fountain, which was dedicated to her brother, Clarence.

 

Edward H. Bennett designed the monument in collaboration with French sculptor Marcel Loyau and engineer Jacques H. Lambert. Inspired by the Latona Basin at Versailles, the structure is composed of four basins clad in elaborately carved granite and pink Georgia marble. The Buckingham Fountain, however, is twice the size and re-circulates approximately three times more water than its French counterpart. Chicago’s fountain is also unique as it symbolizes Lake Michigan.

 

Conveying the enormity of the lake, its major display uses as much as 15,000 gallons of water per minute and sprays water to a height of 150 feet from the ground. The massive lower basin features four sets of Art Deco style sea horses representing the four states that border Lake Michigan.To create the sea-related bronze elements, sculptor Marcel Loyau studied the sea horse collection at a zoological institution in Paris. The fountain’s sculptural elements garnered Loyau the Prix National at the 1927 Paris Salon. The monument’s original design included colored lighting to emulate soft moonlight. During the dedication in August of 1927, John Philip Sousa conducted while his band played “Pomp and Circumstance” before an audience of 50,000 people.

 

For years, the fountain was entirely manually operated by two engineers who each worked a twelve-hour daily shift. Although the evening light show was first automated in 1968, the water continued to be manually operated until 1980, when the operations were fully computerized. From 1983 to 1994, the fountain’s computer was located in Atlanta. Today, however, it is on site and with a monitoring system in Arlington Heights, IL

Core-loc Armoring Devices

 

LOCATION: Just west of DuSable Harbor

INSTALLED: 2000

ENGINEER: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

 

In 2000, Westrec, the company that manages the Chicago Park District’s harbors and marinas, installed several Core-loc armoring devices in Grant Park just west of the DuSable Harbor as part of a larger landscape improvement project. Although the concrete objects resemble giant versions of children’s toy jacks, they are actually functional shore protection devices which have been patented by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Hundreds of such Core-loc devices had previously been used to protect the wall along the edge of DuSable Harbor. The ones placed along the park’s grassy knoll no longer serve the structural purpose for which they were designed, but they can be seen, instead, as interesting art objects.

Cubi VII

 

LOCATION: Stanley McCormick Memorial Court, north of the Art Institute of Chicago

INSTALLED: 1963

SCULPTOR: David Smith

OWNER: Art Institute of Chicago

 

Cubi VII is a highly respected work of abstract sculptures located in the Art Institute’s north garden. It is part of a series of 28 Cubi stainless steel outdoor sculptures owned by various collectors and cultural institutions throughout the world. Each sculpture in the series features rectangular prisms with a seemingly perilous balance that shows the dichotomy between material and form.The Cubi series is considered extremely significant in the development of twentieth century sculpture. American abstract expressionist sculptor David Smith (1906–1965) began working on the series in 1961. He died in an automobile accident just after completing the final piece (Cubi XXVIII). At the time of its sale, Cubi XXVIII was the most expensive contemporary work ever sold at auction. The Art Institute of Chicago acquired Cubi VII from the artist’s estate. The scale, geometric forms, and reflective qualities of the sculpture make it especially attractive within its outdoor setting. Smith’s preliminary drawing of the work is also owned by the Art Institute of Chicago.

Daphne

 

Location: Currently located on Northerly Island on the east side of the field house

Sculptor: Dessa Kirk

Installed: 2003 (Art in the Garden)

 

Daphne was a greek mythological figure who was transformed into a plant or tree so that she wouldn't be captured. The Daphne sculptures represent this through the dress of Daphne where trellis transform the sculpture into a plant. There is also a Daphne sculpture on the median on Congress and Michigan Avenue.

 

 

 

 

Eagle Fountains

 

LOCATION: Congress Plaza, east of S. Michigan Avenue at E. Congress Parkway

INSTALLED: 1931

SCULPTOR: Frederick Cleveland Hibbard

 

Flanking the north and south sides of the Congress Plaza are twin fountains with circular pools. In the center of each, a bronze eagle with a fish in its talons appears as though it is about to take flight. Frederick C. Hibbard created the sculptures in 1931, as the South Park Commissioners were completing Congress Plaza, the elegant gateway into Grant Park and the lakefront. The sculptural fountains and other landscape improvements were made in time for A Century of Progress— Chicago’s second World’s Fair—which took place in adjacent Burnham Park from 1933 to 1934. Although the eagles look very realistic, their verticality and stylized angular lines relate to the Art Deco style that characterized much of the architecture and sculpture at the fair.

 

Born and raised in Canton, Missouri, Frederick C. Hibbard (1881–1950) studied electrical engineering at several universities in Missouri and at the Armour Institute of Technology in Chicago (later renamed the Illinois Institute of Technology). While working in Chicago as an electrician, Hibbard decided that he wanted to become a sculptor. He enrolled at the School of the Art Institute and went on to have a successful career producing over seventy works of permanent sculpture, including two monuments to the Confederate president Jefferson Davis. His work in the Chicago parks includes bas-relief panels on the facade of the Calumet Park Fieldhouse, the David Wallach Fountain in Burnham Park, the Greene Vardiman Black Memorial in Lincoln Park and the Garden Figure in the Lincoln Park Conservatory.

Equestrian Indians

The Bowman and The Spearman

 

LOCATION: Congress Plaza, east of S. Michigan Avenue at E. Congress Parkway

INSTALLED: 1928

SCULPTOR: Ivan Mestrovic

 

Flanking Congress Plaza, these powerful male figures on horseback provide an idealized portrayal of Native Americans. Commissioned by the B.F. Ferguson Fund, they were created by Ivan Metrovic (1883–1962), an internationally-renowned Croatian sculptor who had come to Chicago in 1926, when the Art Institute presented an exhibition of his work. Born in the Kingdom on Croatia- Slavonia, Mestrovic grew up in the mountains of Dalmatia where he worked as a shepherd and as an apprentice to a stone mason. After a second apprenticeship with a marble carver, he received a scholarship from the Academy of Arts in Vienna during the famous Secession Movement. After completing his studies, he began to exhibit his works in major European cities and soon became an international celebrity. Mestrovic became friends with the French sculpture Auguste Rodin, who considered him a genius.

For the Congress Plaza commission, the artist had considered sculpting a cowboy and an Indian, but he decided that two Native Americans would be a more poignant symbol “to commemorate the tribes that once roamed the Illinois prairies.” Mestrovic cast the artworks in Zagreb, Croatia. He commented that although the horses represent those from his home more than the “American prairie warriors,” they capture the vitality of Chicago. The colossal sculptures are seventeen feet tall and on their pedestals, which were designed by architects Holabird & Roche, they reach a height of thirty five feet.

 

The equestrian figures are poised to shoot an arrow and throw a spear; however, neither holds a weapon. Although some Chicagoans believe that the bow and spear were removed from the sculptures during renovations, they actually never existed. The sculptor purposefully omitted the weapons, leaving them to the viewer’s imagination.

Federal Building Columns

 

LOCATION: Cancer Survivor’s Garden, south of E. Randolph Street on axis with N. Field Boulevard

SCULPTED: 1905

RELOCATED: 1996

ARCHITECT: Henry Ives Cobb

 

Federal Building Columns

LOCATION: Cancer Survivor’s Garden, south of E. Randolph Street on axis with N. Field Boulevard

SCULPTED: 1905

RELOCATED: 1996

ARCHITECT: Henry Ives Cobb

 

In 1964, the United States General Services Administration announced plans to demolish Chicago’s historic Federal Building and replace it with a modern complex designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. This decision was made despite a Department of the Interior report that deemed the earlier building architecturally significant, structurally sound, and “capable of serving a useful purpose for many years.” Completed in 1905, the elegant Beaux Arts Federal Building had housed many of the same functions that would be provided by the new facility—a courthouse, post office, and offices for employees of the federal government. American architect Henry Ives Cobb designed the building which had a series of Corinthian columns lining the upper porticos beneath a massive domed rotunda.

 

When the structure came down in the mid 1960s, members of the newly- founded Chicago Architecture Foundation salvaged two columns. They remained in storage until 1996, when the Chicago Park District incorporated them into the design for Grant Park’s Cancer Survivor’s Garden, which was funded in part by a gift from Annette and Richard Bloch. The forty-foot-tall columns are on axis with the classical columns of the Field Museum of Natural History located at the far south end of Grant Park.

 

Flying Dragon

 

LOCATION: Stanley McCormick Memorial Court, north of the Art Institute of Chicago

SCULPTED: 1975

INSTALLED: 1991

SCULPTOR: Alexander Calder

OWNER: Art Institute of Chicago

 

This sculpture was the first to be added to the north garden of the Art Institute after landscape architect Laurie Olin redesigned the area in 1991. It is the work of celebrated American artist Alexander Calder (1898–1976). Although Calder is best known for his small mobile sculptures, the monumental work he produced near the end of his career should not be overlooked. Flying Dragon, which Calder executed in 1975, is considered a stabile. Unlike Calder’s famous kinetic mobiles, his stabiles are stationary sculptures

made of fixed elements, although they can still be dynamic and animated. The artist coated the stainless steel Flying Dragon in his signature red-orange color, which he also used for his giant Flamingo in Chicago’s Federal Court Plaza. Calder’s work spanned about fifty years.

 

In addition to many monumental public sculptures dating to the end of Calder’s career, several pieces that broadly represent the full scope of his work can be seen in Chicago in the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Flying Dragon is thought to be the last stabile that Calder personally created. Completed in 1975, the artist died less than a year later at the age of seventy-eight. A gift of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney L. Port made this acquisition possible.

Fountain Figures: Crane Girl, Fisher Boy, Turtle Boy, Dove Girl

 

LOCATION: One pair north and one pair south of Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain

EXHIBITED: 1908 (Humboldt Park)

CAST IN BRONZE: 1910

RELOCATED: 1964 (Grant Park)

SCULPTOR: Leonard Crunelle

 

Crane Girl, Fisher Boy, Turtle Boy, and Dove Girl are four delicate-looking bronze figures— each standing in the center of its own circular fountain with the associated animal its feet. Crane Girl and Fisher Boy are north of the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain while Turtle Boy and Dove Girl are to the south.

 

Leonard Crunelle (1872–1945), an artist especially well-known for sculpting figures of children, created the four Fountain Figures. Full-size plaster models of these sculptures were originally displayed in a 1908 outdoor art exhibition in Humboldt Park. The Chicago Tribune explained that the purpose of this exhibit was to “demonstrate the beauties and the wonderful possibilities of a skillful combination of landscape gardening and sculpture.” Jens Jensen (1860–1951), who is now recognized as the dean of the Prairie style in landscape architecture, placed the figures at the four corners of a rectangular reflecting pool in the center of Humboldt Park’s circular rose garden. At the time of the exhibit, a magazine article suggested that the Fountain Figures “appeal to the childish fancy,” in everyone.

 

The plaster versions of the Fountain Figures were so well-received that the West Park Commissioners soon had them recast in bronze for permanent installation. The whimsical Fountain Figures remained in their original location until the early 1950s, when they were defaced by vandals. The sculptures went into storage for more than a decade until 1964, when the Chicago Park District installed them in the four circular fountains as part of a new Grant Park Rose Garden. In addition to the Crane Girl, Fisher Boy, Turtle Boy, and Dove Girl, Crunelle’s extant works in Chicago include the Richard Oglesby Monument in Lincoln Park, the Victory Monument on Martin Luther King Drive, and sculptural relief panels on the doors of the Museum of Science and Industry.

 

Fountain of the Great Lakes

Spirit of the Great Lakes

 

LOCATION: South Garden of the Art Institute of Chicago

INSTALLED: 1913

SCULPTOR: Lorado Taft

RELOCATED: 1963

OWNER: Art Institute of Chicago

 

In the late 1890s, acclaimed Chicago sculptor Lorado Taft (1860–1936) began envisioning a monumental fountain of nymphs and flowing water. In 1899, he had his female students create a temporary plaster model of a nymph fountain on the lawn outside of the Art Institute of Chicago to elicit responses from the public. Although some did not approve of the scantily- dressed female figures, others responded favorably. Mayor Carter Harrison said, “It is not in any sense objectionable. It is beautiful and artistic.”

 

A few years later, Taft followed the same theme to create the Fountain of the Great Lakes. Five bronze nymphs depicted in draped clothing represent each of America’s Great Lakes. Positioned in the same configuration as the

 

Great Lakes, the figures each hold a shell and spill water to the next, emulating the flow of the vast Midwestern fresh water system. Completed in 1913, Taft’s Fountain of the Great Lakes was the first commission of Benjamin F. Ferguson Fund, which had been established several years earlier to foster the placement of statuary and monuments along the boulevards and in other public places in Chicago. The fountain originally stood in front of the Art Institute’s old south wall.

 

It remained in this location until 1963, when the Art Institute of Chicago completed its Morton East Wing addition. At that time, the Fountain of the Great Lakes was moved to a perpendicular position, adjacent to the new wing’s west wall. Unfortunately, sited at this location, the monument’s original bas-relief sculpture of art patron B.F. Ferguson is obscured from public view.

John Alexander Logan Monument

 

LOCATION: East of S. Michigan Avenue at E. 9th Street INSTALLED: 1897

SCULPTORS: Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Alexander Phimister Proctor

 

Illinois-born John Alexander Logan (1826–1886) was a remarkable war hero and political figure. After serving in the Mexican-American War, Logan studied and practiced law, served several terms as a Democratic Illinois State Representative and then as a United States Congressman. Logan entered the Civil War as a colonel and quickly work his way up to the rank of general. After the war, he switched parties and represented Illinois in the United States House of Representative and the Senate for several terms as a Republican. Nominated for Vice President on John Blaine’s ticket in 1884, the two were not elected. Logan did, however; achieve great fame as head of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union Army veterans. On behalf of this organization, he recommended the creation of Memorial Day, known originally as Decoration Day, and first observed on May 30, 1868.

Shortly after Logan’s death in 1886, the Illinois state legislature appropriated funds to create a memorial to him in Chicago. The South Park Commission provided the site and the granite base. The monument had been intended as the burial place for Logan and his wife. Although his widow planned to have his remains moved to the tomb from Washington D.C. along with her body after her death, this never occurred. As a result, the tomb has always been empty.

 

Renowned artist Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848–1907) sculpted the bronze figure of Logan, while Alexander Phimister Proctor (1862–1950) created the horse. Proctor was an observer of American wilderness and a sculptor who had exhibited his work at the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. The General John Alexander Logan Monument is among the city’s most recognizable sculptures, particularly since it sits above the hill-like tomb. A wreath laying ceremony is often held at the monument on Memorial Day, prior to the city’s annual parade, which is one of the largest in the nation.

Large Interior Form

 

LOCATION: Stanley McCormick Memorial Court, north of the Art Institute of Chicago

SCULPTED: 1982

INSTALLED: 1983

SCULPTOR: Henry Moore OWNER: Art Institute of Chicago

 

Henry Moore (1898–1986), one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, became well-known throughout the world for his large modern sculptural works. Many of them, including this bronze piece, are abstract representations of the human figure. According to architect and museum curator A. James Speyer, Moore was “...not directly concerned with portraiture or anatomy, but with the generalized meaning associated with the human presence, a presence which infuses all of Moore’s work, however abstracted the forms appear.” He went on to explain that “Large Interior Form epitomizes Moore’s primary concerns, simultaneously embodying mass and void, gravity and growth, and man and nature.”

 

An English artist who first exhibited in Europe in 1928, Moore began to garner international attention in the 1930s. In 1947, the Art Institute of Chicago was only the second venue for Moore’s first exhibition in the United States. Large Interior Form was a gift to The Art Institute from the Henry Moore Foundation of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. The sixteen- foot-nine-inch tall sculpture is one of six productions of the same sculpture. Moore often included large gaps in his pieces to emphasize organic three- dimensionality. The three holes in this piece were inspired by pebbles he found by the sea. When the Art Institute of Chicago received the piece in 1983, it held a month-long exhibition of ten small-scale sculptures and maquettes by Moore to celebrate the acquisition.

Lions

 

LOCATION: East of S. Michigan Avenue at E. Adams Street, flanking Art Institute of Chicago

SCULPTED: 1893

RECAST IN BRONZE: 1894

SCULPTOR: Edward Kemeys

OWNER: Art Institute of Chicago

 

Flanking the front entrance to the Art Institute of Chicago, Edward Kemeys’ Lions are among the city’s most beloved and recognizable sculptures. A largely self-taught artist, Edward Kemeys (1843–1907) became famous for his sculptures of wild animals. He was considered the leader of the American animaliers — an artistic movement that began in France in the mid-nineteenth century in which artists studied living animals to inform their sculpture.

 

Kemeys first established a studio in Chicago in 1892. The following year, the World’s Columbian Exposition in Jackson Park showcased twelve of his sculptures including massive jaguars, bears, bison, and temporary versions of these lions. Like most of the other exposition artworks, the Lions were originally composed of plaster. During the fair, they flanked the primary entrance to the Fine Arts Palace — now the Museum of Science and Industry.

 

Shortly after the fair closed, Mrs. Henry Field donated funds to recast the Lions in bronze and install them in front of the Art Institute’s new building in Grant Park. Prior to their official dedication in 1894, the Chicago Tribune reported that Mr. Kemeys said that the Lions were “...conceived as guarding the building.” He explained that the south lion is “attracted by something in the distance which he is closely watching,” and that the north lion “has his back up, and is ready for a roar and a spring.”

Magdalene

 

LOCATION: Congress Plaza, east of S. Michigan Avenue at E. Congress Parkway

INSTALLED: 2005

SCULPTOR: Dessa Kirk

OWNER: Dessa Kirk

 

Dessa Kirk’s Magdalene is located on the small triangular landscape at the intersection of Congress Parkway and Michigan Avenue. Kirk created this sculpture specifically for this site. In the springtime tulips line the female figure’s feet, and in the summertime the sculpture becomes part of the surrounding garden, as vines and flowers fill up the skirt of her dress. Dessa Kirk produced this artwork after the success of her earlier Daphne sculptures. These three similar sculptures were part of the Chicago Park District’s 2004 Art in the Garden exhibit in Grant Park and later moved to Northerly Island.

 

Kirk spent her youth in Anchorage, Alaska. During the summers, she lived with her grandfather in an old Alaskan mining village. He encouraged her to experiment with welding and other metal constructions. After receiving a scholarship to the School of Art Institute of Chicago in 1992, she decided to make Chicago her home. In addition to several public works in Chicago — often composed of welded automobile parts — Kirk has installations in Columbus, Indiana; Three Oaks, Michigan; and Anchorage, Alaska.

Man with Fish

LOCATION: Southwest of the entrance of Shedd Aquarium

INSTALLED: 2001

SCULPTOR: Stephan Balkenhol

OWNER: John G. Shedd Aquarium

 

A gift to the Shedd Aquarium from William N. Sick in honor of his wife, Stephanie, Man with Fish was installed in 2001. The painted bronze sculpture portrays a man with his arms wrapped around an enormous fish. Water sprays from the fish’s mouth, dripping into a reflecting pool below. The floor of the basin has colorful sea-life imagery.

 

Stephan Balkenhol (b. 1957), a German sculptor who studied at the Hamburg School of Fine Arts created Man with Fish. Balkenhol is best known for his minimalist and conceptualist works. His early sculptures consisted mainly of nudes, presented in classical Roman, Greek and Egyptian styles. Since the 1980s, however, his sculpture has largely portrayed ordinary men and women in everyday depictions, sometimes with a surprising or light-hearted twist. Several of Balkenhol’s works feature human figures with an animal or several animals and convey this playful approach, such as Man with Fish or Small Man with Giraffe which stands in front of the Hamburg Zoo. Balkenhol has exhibited his work widely throughout Europe and the United States at major cultural institutions such as the Saatchi Collection in London and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C.

Olmec Head

 

LOCATION: East Side of Field Museum of Natural History INSTALLED: 2000

REPRODUCTION: Ignacio Perez Solano

OWNER: Field Museum of Natural History

 

This large reproduction of a 3,000-year-old sculpture was a gift from the government of Veracruz, a state in southeastern Mexico. Veracruz was the home of the pre-Columbian Olmec people who existed from 1200 to 800 B.C.E. This ancient civilization — the first to build religious centers — is also known for producing small jade artworks and large heads like this reproduction which is located just east of the Field Museum. Archeologists have discovered a total of seventeen large heads believed to have come from the Olmec.

 

This seven-foot-tall carved stone piece, created by Ignacio Perez Solano, is one of several replicas of Olmec Head Number 8 that can be found outside of Mexico. Along with additional colossal heads and other artifacts, the original Olmec Head Number 8 is located at the Museum of Anthropology in Xalapa, Veracruz. The first enormous stone head was found during a 1939 excavation. The Veracruz museum was founded in part to house and preserve the region’s vast Olmec collection. The Field Museum’s replica weighs seven tons. Its acquisition coincided with the design for the Hall of the Americas at the Field Museum.

Paris Metro Entryway

LOCATION: East S. Michigan Avenue at E. Van Buren Street

SCULPTED: 1900

REPRODUCTION CAST AND INSTALLED: 2003 ARCHITECT: Hector Guimard

OWNER: City of Chicago

 

This twenty-first century entrance to Chicago’s Metra train at Michigan Avenue and Van Buren Street harkens back to the historic Metro entrances of Paris, designed by Hector Guimard. Often considered the quintessential French Art Nouveau artist and architect, Guimard (1867–1942) developed highly stylized designs with floral and curvilinear motifs between the 1890s and 1920s. Guimard was an advocate for industrial standardization before this was a common notion, and he believed in executing projects on a grand public scale. He designed a series of Art Nouveau style Metro entranceways for Paris in 1900.

 

The Parisian transit authority, the RATP, created this reproduction from Guimard’s original molds. The RATP and the Union League Club of Chicago donated this station to forge a visual connection between Chicago and its Sister City, Paris. They also created reproductions for two of Paris’s other Sister Cities, Lisbon and Mexico City. Although completed in 2003, Chicago’s Paris Metro Entryway was not officially dedicated until Bastille Day, 2005. The City of Chicago’s Public Art Program not only co-sponsored this project, but also presents an on-going series of artist projects which are displayed on the station’s Michigan Avenue sign board. The Art Nouvea style metalwork was created from molds taken from an Paris original Metro station by Hector Guimard, 2009.

Reading Cones

LOCATION: Butler Field, south of E. Monroe Drive SCULPTED: 1988

INSTALLED IN GRANT PARK: 1990

SCULPTOR: Richard Serra

OWNER: City of Chicago

 

Richard Serra (b. 1939), one of America’s most renowned living artists, created this large-scale minimalist sculpture. The son of a San Francisco pipe fitter, Serra worked for several years in West Coast shipyards and steel mills before receiving an MFA from Yale University. He went on to receive a Yale Traveling Fellowship and a Fulbright grant which allowed him to study art in Paris and Florence. Serra became known for constructing sculptures from industrial materials, particularly large sheets of metal known as “Cor-Ten” or “weathering” steel. This material has a surface that looks rusty, but in fact resists corrosion and does not need to be painted. Because of the large and abstract forms and their rusty finish, many of Serra’s sculptures have been considered controversial.

 

Reading Cones — named for the town in which it was made, Reading, Pennsylvania — is a good example of Serra’s signature minimalist metal sculptures. It is composed of two freestanding seventeen-foot-tall curved walls of “Cor-Ten” steel that stand just far enough apart to allow a person to walk between them. On axis with the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain, the open space between the two metal walls of Reading Cones frames an unexpected view, providing an interesting contrast between old and newer artworks. The Leo Burnett Company officially donated Reading Cones to the City of Chicago in 1990. At that time, its placement in Grant Park was considered temporary because city officials had planned to relocate the sculpture to the entrance of State Street Mall, which was then under renovation. Although the State Street Project was completed in 1996, the thirty-two ton Serra sculpture remains in its Grant Park location.

Rosenberg Fountain

LOCATION: East of S.Michigan Avenue at E. 11th Street INSTALLED: 1893

SCULPTOR: Franz Machtl

ARCHITECTS: Bauer & Hill

 

Joseph Rosenberg (1848–1891) left a bequest for a fountain in Chicago “to provide the thirsty with a drink.” Growing up in Chicago and working as a newsboy, Rosenberg could never convince local merchants to spare him some water. As a result, he vowed that if he were ever wealthy, he would create a fountain where newsboys could get a drink on a hot day. He later moved to San Francisco and made a fortune, never forgetting this vow. He left a $10,000 bequest for an ornamental drinking fountain, and asked that it be erected on a prominent corner somewhere on the south side of Chicago. The South Park Commissioners accepted the donation and installed the monument on the southwest end of Grant Park near his childhood home on South Michigan Avenue.

 

This monument remains today as an ornamental fountain, but it no longer provides drinking water. The structure emulates a classical Greek temple in miniature. Its lower columned pedestal, which houses the fountain, was designed by Chicago-based architects Bauer & Hill and serves as a base for the sculpture. The eleven-foot-tall bronze figure represents Hebe, daughter of Zeus and Hera. The goddess of youth and cupbearer to the gods, she symbolizes rejuvenation. German artist Franz Machtl sculpted the bronze figure of the goddess which was cast in Munich.

The original conception for the sculpture was to depict Hebe in the nude. The executors of the will, however, were worried that some visitors might be offended, and they did not want to tarnish to the memory of Joseph Rosenberg. They thus decided to present the goddess in draped clothing. The female figure holds a cup in one hand and pitcher in the other—a pose consistent with many other neoclassical depictions of Hebe. In 2004, the Chicago Park District restored the fountain and its sculpture. The Goddess of Youth fountain in the Lincoln Park Conservatory also depicts the goddess Hebe.

Sir Georg Solti Bust

LOCATION: East of S. Michigan Avenue, south of E. Jackson Drive

INSTALLED: 1987 (Lincoln Park)

RELOCATED: 2006 (Grant Park)

SCULPTOR: Dame Elisabeth Frink

 

Sir Georg Solti (1912–1997) was a world-renowned orchestra conductor and thirty-two-time Grammy Award winner who brought new life to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the 1960s. Born and trained in Budapest, Solti conducted orchestras in major cities throughout Europe and served as the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic before becoming the first Music Director Laureate of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1969 to 1991. During that period, he conducted a total of 999 performances. He intended to conduct his one thousandth performance in honor of his eighty-fifth birthday, but he died a few weeks beforehand.

 

Recognizing his importance to Chicago, Solti once said, “They should erect a statue to me.” A group of private donors made Solti’s wish come true. The group raised approximately $30,000 to commission Dame Elisabeth Frink (1930–1993), a British artist known for her bronze figurative sculptures, to produce the bust of the legendary conductor. After being briefly displayed at London’s Royal Opera House, the bronze bust was installed in front of the Lincoln Park Conservatory on the maestro’s seventy-fifth birthday in 1987. In 2006, the artwork was relocated to the newly-designed Solti Garden in Grant Park, and placed on a new dark granite base. Chicago’s first lady Maggie Daley and Lady Valerie Solti, Sir George’s widow, were present at the rededication ceremony. The Grant Park Conservancy co- sponsored the new garden and relocation of the monument. In its new site, the Solti bust distantly faces the Spirit of Music, which honors another legendary Chicago Symphony Orchestra conductor, Theodore Thomas.

Spirit of Music

Theodore Thomas Memorial

 

LOCATION: East of S. Michigan Avenue and north of E. Balbo Drive

SCULPTED: 1923

RELOCATED: 1941, 1958, 1991

SCULPTOR: Albin Polasek

ARCHITECT: Howard Van Doren Shaw

 

The Spirit of Music honors Theodore Thomas (1835–1905), first conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO). Born in Germany, Thomas was a respected violinist and conductor who settled in Chicago in 1889 to help establish the city’s first permanent orchestra. After performing in the Auditorium Theatre for many years, Thomas achieved his dream of building a permanent home for the CSO. The Burnham-designed Orchestra Hall was dedicated in December 1904, only a few weeks before Thomas died. Fourteen years later, the B.F. Ferguson Fund commissioned Czech immigrant Albin Polasek (1879–1965), a talented 

artist who headed the sculpture department at the School of the Art Institute, to create the monument. The fourteen-foot-tall bronze muse is depicted holding a lyre. According to Polasek, the face behind the mask on the lyre is modeled after his own. American architect Howard Van Doren Shaw (1869–1926) collaborated with Polasek on the monument’s granite exedra and bench. Stretching across the low forty-foot-long wall behind the bronze figure, the exedra portrays members of the orchestra playing their instruments in sculptural relief.

 

Over the years, the sculpture was moved to several different locations in Grant Park. Originally erected just south of the Art Institute, facing Orchestra Hall in 1923, it was first relocated in 1941 when museum’s south garden underwent major renovations. At that time, the bronze figure was removed from its exedra and symmetrically placed in front of a classically-designed peristyle near Randolph Street. In 1958, the bronze sculpture was moved again — still without its original backdrop — near the Buckingham Fountain. In the early 1990s, a lakefront jogger discovered pieces of the artwork’s original carved granite exedra along the edge of Lake Michigan. The Chicago Park District soon retrieved them, restored the sculpture and exedra, and installed the monument at a new location at Balbo Drive and Michigan Avenue. The Park District went on to create the adjacent Spirit of Music Garden, now the popluar venue for Chicago’s annual Summer Dance series.

The Artists Monument

Making it all the way from the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Tony Tasset's "Artists Monument" was unveiled this Saturday in Grant Park by the Chicago Park District. The 80ft long and 8ft tall multicolored sculpture is listed with the names of 392,485 artists. Tasset mentioned in a speech at the reception that if you ask a person on the street to name a contemporary artist they may say Andy Warhol or Picasso. "Artists Monument" was made to honor all the other contemporary artists that may not always get the social recognition they deserve. The sculpture will be on display in the park until it moves to its permanent home at the University of Illinois Chicago where Tasset has taught for 27 years