On-Line Participant Discussions
Facebook Discussion (10 Participants Total)
Notes: I have changed the name of the participants to protect their identity. Only two of the participants, Miguel and Marjorie, have met one another. They once resided in the same community. As I transcribed the conversation from Facebook, doc made changes to grammar, punctuation and spelling. I left those changes, but didn’t correct anything else within the transcription. Half of the participants were my former students.
Miguel is a former high school history instructor.
Marjorie is a professional photographer.
Sue is a senior psychology/sociology student who intends to continue her education when she graduates in May.
Helen is a military officer who specialized in Music Therapy.
Leslie is a social worker.
Renee has earned her Associate of Art’s degree and is interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Science in nursing.
Kay is Project Manager for a marketing and advertising corporation based in Chicago, South Carolina, Mississippi and Ohio.
Barbara is a former high school educator who is now a Peace Corp volunteer.
Two other friends joined the group, acknowledging other comments with the “like” function, but they have not contributed to the dialogue.
Museum Caryatids (Charlie Brown)
Miguel: Greek/Roman influence, like those in Atlantis (maybe)
Me: Quick quiz: anyone from art history/art appreciation remember what these figures are called?
Sue: AHH this is the real life Blue Willow Garden! (ok, so there is no willow tree but that is beside the point)
Me: My third favorite place in Chicago!
Sue: I think it'd be my first
Me: My first is the area where they have planted native wildflowers. It is far enough away from Lakeshore Drive where I can actually hear crickets and grasshoppers, waves, and grass rustling in the wind. It is my sanctuary from this steel-reinforced concrete jungle... Second is what I identified last year as my outdoor office.
Marjorie: we're just a small cog in the wheel goes round and round....life.
Construction in Space
Miguel: This reminds me of sand lines or Japanese line garden, don’t really know what it is called.http://www.japansociety.org.uk/6911/japanese-gardens-in-the-uk-do-they-work-can-they-work-by-graham-hardman/Japanese gardens in the UK – Do they work, can they work? by Graham Hardmanwww.japansociety.org.uk Tuesday, 24th November 2009, 6.45pm The Oriental Club, Stratford House,11 Stratf
Miguel:http://wallpaperscraft.com/download/desert_patterns_lines_strips_sand_dunes_8997Wallpaper Original desert, patterns, lines, strips, sand, dunes Background Download Picture, Image Wwallpaperscraft.com
Me: I played with the perspective a bit. When I have access to the Internet again in the morning, I will post another photo of this piece.
Miguel: How tall is this piece? Is it made of wood? Beautiful, very bold!!!!
Me: It is cast bronze measuring 40 1/2 inches high, spanning 30 1/3" in its swirling radius.
Miguel: good deception of the camera lens. Job well done. I would of thought it was at least 20 ft tall. LOL
Me: Thanks. For me, since I am so short, it does seem tall, especially since it is setting on a pedestal.
Miguel: yeah, I know the feeling. I’m not 6 ft tall either. LOL
Miguel: now that I see the piece complete from afar, it looks more like butterflies in flight.
Marjorie: This is pretty. It is smooth, and yet there are so many triangles it makes you think of strength. Not power, solid strength.
Me: The artist usually welded individual slats of metal for most of his work, but this one was cast instead.
Fountain of Time (artist)
Miguel: Is there another shot of this piece? I am intrigued by it. so many ideas come to mind. exodus, slavery, crusades........
Me: The next photo of the single figure is part of it as well. He stands alone across from the line of other figures. A large fountain of water usually separates them. Since the fountain was empty when I shot it, I was able to get all figures from a frontal perspective. The single figure is facing the others. The entire line of figures is over 100 feet long.
Fountain of Time (time)
Miguel: Mysterious!! Like those I read in the Dan Brown novels. LOL
Miguel: Advancement in human technology from a wheel to the complexity of a computer chip. My own interpretation
Me: Why did you assume that? What specific elements in the work helped you draw that conclusion?
Miguel: Well the first is the obvious roundness of the piece, but also the roughness, not quite perfectly round thus the first movement of technology, the wheel. The other parts from the outside rim to the middle just look like the components of the inside of a computer (chips and wires).
Circular Stone (V)
Miguel: Reminds me of a miniature or grounded wings of knowledge from LCC campus.
Me: "Wings take flight" Funny. I enjoy telling the story of our fallen wings....!
Miguel: Makes me wonder if it is a milling stone but I don’t think I ever seen one with the center so big. Also thinking this is one that is not only meant to be seen but also touch. The coarseness of the stone must be smoothing.
Me: I actually am not sure what the original purpose of this stone would have been. I am going to have to research it!
Me: This would be one of those extra credit questions I used to toss out for everyone to see what they could come up with! I miss learning from my students!!
Truncated Pyramid (wide)
Miguel: Race riots?
Me: Sorry I dropped out it the conversation. Fell asleep. Change in roles, isn't it? Aren't the students supposed to be the ones falling asleep?! This one is a memorial to an art student. It is part of a sculpture garden which has an overall tactile appeal to children, which may be why you associated it with the other seemingly playfulness of the rest of the installation.
Miguel: Can not decide if this is in "motion" or if it is "stationary" . At this angle, with the trees behind it, it looks like it is standing still. But in the following picture it looks like it is moving. Another thing that has caught my eye is at the top of the middle extension, looks like it is chipped or deformed in some way. Either way, it is an interesting sculpture, like the way it flows, the curves are so fluent.
Me: This is one of my favorite pieces in what will be my South-side tour.... It was once placed in the large University of Chicago quadrangle where it was dwarfed by the vast Gothic-style buildings. They moved it into a more "intimate" setting that better sets off the piece.
DuSable (Taylor, Parker)
Miguel: reminds me of Picasso cubism.
Me: What makes you say that, Miguel? With that association, roughly what date would you place on the piece?
Miguel: Just remember Picasso more famous works. I think this is a more modern piece. Maybe late 70's early 80's. Am I right??
Me: You are good! 1977!
Me: Talk about the form a bit.... What do you think of its shape?
Miguel: Roots come from one of my best art teachers.
Miguel: Just referring to the cubism shape figure in the back ground and the figure in the front. Straight lines with dimensions
Me: It is actually two separate works, one viewed with another serving as the frame. They were part of the same installation which included four works based upon the same theme. I have two pictured here. Care to guess which two other pieces in the album may be in the same park?
Miguel: the shapes make me feel like a kid. Like if I could I would climb all over it.
Miguel: I will do that, this will be 1 and 2, the other will be 3 and 4.
Me: So you think they evoke a spirit of playfulness?
Miguel: Yes you could say that. Energetic
Me: Miguel is correct on one of his guesses. Care to explain why you guessed the pieces you did? Anyone else want to take a stab at it?
Miguel: Was I close on the other two works??
Me: In what way are they "energetic?"
Miguel: The figure in the front, looks like a wave or like when you were a child imagining that when you swing your arm in a BIG CIRCLE, the traces that follows your arm as it goes over your head. And the figure beside it looks like a person standing on their head. And the figure in the back just looks like a jungle gym or something you can just climb all over.
Me: Yes. One right. Not going to disclose which ones yet. I want to play with this idea for awhile.....
Miguel: Alright, this is enjoyable, recalling the art, culture, and history
Miguel: What is the culture influence on this one? At first I concluded African but the more I look at it, it could be Puerto Rican, Haitian, Cuban. I know all have strong African roots but all also have cultural differences.
Me: Remember what I told you about first instincts? You were right with your first guess. The artist is from Rwanda. This abuts the African American History Museum. The piece is called "Unconditional Love." Thoughts?
Miguel: always trust your first instincts!!! I can’t decide if it does the African American History justice. So much happen, through out the civil rights movements, to change cultural thinking towards all races in America. I believe it might lean towards more of the representation of the home (mother) land. In other words, although it is a beautiful piece, I question its full representation for African American but I could be wrong.
Miguel: child labor?
Me: No. She is a remnant from the 1893 Columbia Exposition. She had been placed here, but she was stolen at some point. This is a recent replacement of the original figure.
Barbara: I’m not sure whether she’s begging or offering. Either way, she’s beautiful.
Me: She was intended to be symbolically offering refreshment to the Fair-goers. I find her delightful as well.
Marjorie: Crazy looking building in the background ruins this one. Otherwise looks like a man with “backbone.”
Barbara: Pondering ponderously. The chair is interesting too. Claw-footed, phoenix-backed.
Me: Thought to be a replica of a Greek chair…
Barbara: I see determination, strong will.
Me: The artist had seen Lincoln while he was in-state. Rather than using his death mask as the sculptor had done for the Lincoln Memorial in DC, he chose to use a live cast that had been taken of Lincoln while he was a young man.
Barbara: This expression is amusing. This is a look my Grandpa used to give me when I was being naughty—a mixture of amusement and amazement. The thought behind it was, “You sill child.” It’s a “tsk, tsk” look
Me: It certainly reveals his remarkably wicked sense of humor, doesn’t it?!
Marjorie: Can’t really tell from the photo, but it appears that the horse and rider may be looking towards the same place. Love the platform and surrounding setting.
Hans Christian Andersen
Marjorie: Love this one. Don’t you know this guy is sitting on the stump surrounded by nature, doing some thinking.
Miguel: You mentioned in another post that many of these statutes are philosophers, poets, and authors, is this statue the person who wrote the mother goose nursery rhymes?
Me: Great guess. Look more carefully. What kind of fowl is it?
Helen: Looks like a swan to me.
Me: Yep! Any guesses who he is, then? It is another, “What is he doing in Chicago” type of sculpture…. We have a number of them like that!
Miguel: Only thing coming to mind is “Swan Lake,” but not all that certain.
Helen: Hmmmmmm, well, it’s not Tchaikovsky…but why do I feel I should know this one? Darn text anxiety!
Miguel: I feel the same way.
Me: Nope. Hans Christian Andersen and “The Ugly Duckling.” He joins the memorial to Goethe (the bronze with an eagle LS had commented on), Shakespeare, and Schiller, the other one Marjorie had noted who had the hands of a gentleman farmer. Swedenborg, Lessing and Linneaus are also depicted in monuments as well.
Miguel: Oh!! That was gonna be my answer!!! LOL. Is there a connection between these “what are they doing in Chicago” people, or were they just famous people to stir up curiosity?
Me: Many were donated by the various immigrant groups who settled in Chicago.
Miguel: Got it “Cultural and Educational”!!!! great representation.
Me: I hadn’t thought of it quite that way. Not in the modern sense at least. Most of them were donated before WWII. But you are right, it would be a nice approach for my thesis! Yes, there is even a Benito Juarez, but unfortunately he isn’t in the two areas I chose to cover. He is actually right across from the Chicago Tribune Tower….. And he is huge!
Me: We also have one of the Olmec head replicas, but again, it is in another one of the tours I had to cut because they didn’t want my thesis to be too long.
Miguel: I would like to see Juarez. Wonder why he is there? Just out of curiosity, is he like in a Hispanic location, if there is a place like that. You got me curious now. Gonna have to go research. LOL you were always good at getting me a thinking.
Me: It is not a predominately Hispanic location, nor is the Olmec Head, which brings up one of my objections to the Chicago Cultural Plan of 2012. Seems potentially segregationist in nature, especially since the majority of the public sculptures are in the affluent white neighborhoods. The exception is Hyde Park, which is where 22 of the sculptures I have pictured. Problem is most of them ate specifically located at University of Chicago, many are celebrating European cultures, and the University itself, though it is located in a predominately black neighborhood, has a predominately white student population. Feedback?
Me: Or “are specifically located.” Stupid auto correct!
Me: Pilsen is the Hispanic neighborhood. It had a number of murals, but I was surprised that at the homeless shelter where I volunteered recently, the mural they commissioned for their building was done by a white artist who didn’t encourage the shelter’s residents to help her with it. When I met her, Miguel, I recalled how you had discussed the Mexican muralists in California in our art appreciation class. Her work seems a sharp contrast from the origin of murals in predominately Hispanic communities outside of Chicago.
Miguel: Maybe this will sound somewhat repetitive, but in an attempt to diverse city. I am just saying, that when the awareness of population ratios were discussed in the late
80’s and early 90’s, in the time era in which man of these statues were erected (I’m guessing here, since I really don’t know when they were place), diversity was a major issue. So every public location where there was a dominate population of one ethnicity needed to be exposed to another ethnicity. Do you recall her name? I would like to research her art. She might be a newer intercultural Hispanic artist, which is nothing wrong with it, just not a true representation of the Hispanic culture. I believe many of the true Hispanic artist are not represented. The ones that struggled through the continuing culture differences. It is easy to accept what you cannot change, but it take true courage to face those that want you to sit down and accept what others say represents a culture. Now I’m just talking here. I am not trying to upset anyone. Forgive me if I do.
Me: Interestingly, most of the ones with human likeness were place between 1880-1920’s. In the thirties, they still had a number of them donated, but two of the more troubling one’s had very strong (and potentially negative) connotations.
Miguel: I wonder if by chance the ones that were placed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were not place for the same reasons. Wasn’t that about the time when child laws were beginning to be enforced? Education through visual display, especially in location where there was a dominate population of immigrants with little to no education.
Me: There is a sculpture dedicated to child labor laws in this collection. Any guess which one it may be?
Miguel: I will look for it.
Me: After the fire and the Columbia Exposition, Chicago adopted a city-wide plan similar to the one Paul Wren had instituted in London following their fire. The original Plan called for a number of parks, boulevards, monuments, buildings and even transportation
Me: When I first posted the images, I left the discussion open so you all would look at the formal qualities of the pieces, stripping each piece of its setting and its history. As we discuss the pieces, what types of questions do you ask yourself? What type of information do you want to know, and why? Furthermore, once I have answered the questions you ask, do the answers only serve to make you ask more?
Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (with CSI Horse in the foreground):
Renee: I love the horse! It’s angular and flowing. The lines in the piece keep your eyes moving, and the exaggerated circles, ovals and semi-circles forming the joint points and larger musculature add to the appeal.
Me: This is one of the temporary pieces of a city-wide installation. There are 64 pieces that were installed last summer. The installation was supposed to end in October, but most of them remain.
Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (back view)
Marjorie: Can’t really tell much about this one.
Miguel: Sure you can, the figure is standing proud of his accomplishments. He is looking outward, keeping an eye out for those who dare to encroach.
Marjorie: What does he have in his hands?
Me: I will post more of him as well. He is holding a book. A number of the sculptures feature philosophers, poets and authors.
Marjorie: Well, he’s either a writer or a farmer trying to figure out if he can pay the taxes. His hands don’t look like they belong to a farmer.
Me: Are you saying if he is a farmer, with those hands, he would never be able to pay his taxes?
Marjorie: No, I’m saying he must be a writer because his hands don’t belong to a farmer…..but in his era there were probably “gentlemen farmers”…
Me: Most farmers today wouldn’t survive with hands like that, would they?!
Storks at Play
Marjorie: What are these birds doing? If they are in Protection mode, they don’t look real. What’s in the background, botanical gardens? Neat place for sculpture
Me: The title of the piece is “Storks at Play.” And yes, it is a botanical garden. The building was erected in the park in 1890. Does the title help you interpret the birds’ postures and better?
Marjorie: Yes. I just couldn’t tell what they were doing.
Me: What made you note their protective postures?
Marjorie: I thought it looked like a child on the right side of the pic. Their necks would be more forward and straight if they were protective. They might be protecting a child or protecting something from the child.
Me: The child-like figure is actually a young merman. Again, I will post a few different angles of the shots later today. Your observation of the natural world is very acute. I know why, but since not everyone else may know, care to introduce yourself a bit?
Helen: Fins for feet!! The poor boy looks like he’s really struggling with that fish… The fish kinda looks like a catfish, which makes me think nasty bottom feeder. So he’s struggling with the bottom feeders of life who are trying to dominate him and turn him into one of them or something/someone he’s not. ….Ok, this is probably the child labor laws one…?
Me: As far as I can tell, Helen, it is purely playful. In the 80’s they were concerned about children who had joined into the game and put a fence around it. They are no longer fenced in, so I am not sure whether or not children now play in it or not.
Miguel: what is William Shakespeare doing in Chicago???? Interesting pose, looks like he is wondering what people walking by are thinking?? Studying them for his continuing stories/dramas.
Me: Not exactly sure.... This is recorded as the first representation of him in his own period's clothing. In the book, he is referenced as a favorite with children, who enjoy crawling in his lap. The side inscription is a quote from Coleridge, who called him a poet for all ages.
Miguel: Certainly more then a poet, a grand master of literary expression that transfer from era to era. I have no dealt that he was not the first to write such beautiful and heart filled tragedies, poems, and sonnets, but he did it best. Just saying!!!
Me: Worth commemorating even in Chicago then?
Miguel: Yes, worth commemorating even in Chicago, but still pondering the question, "what is William Shakespeare doing in Chicago?". Research question?!!
Sue: He is wondering what in the world American's think they are doing putting a statue of him in Chicago ???
Miguel: Is that what that expression on his face is??? Confusion???
Sue: Confusion mixed with disdain lol
Miguel: Yes like to say, "HA!!! You little people, I wear bows on my shoes and pants, YOU HAVE NONE, so there!!!!!!!!!" LOL. jk.
Sue: What is on his finger? Right hand ... pointer finger
Miguel: It is a book, I think
Miguel: He has his finger between the pages
Sue: That makes sense (duh)
Sue: I wear bows on my shoes and pants and what's more: I read and write!
Miguel: And I do it well!!!! Cause they made me a statue!
Sue: AND put me in the USA -- IN Chicago, no less!
Miguel: Yes!!! Just thought of something, since he wears bows on his shoes and pants, maybe the expression is more like, "damn, this thong is killing me!!!" LOL
Sue: That could explain the sitting position that looks less than comfortable --
Sue: poor Roberta Molyneux-Davis
Miguel: I hope she wakes up in a good mood and finds this conversation comical!!! Got to love her, she tries so hard at everything.
Sue: She had to know when she invited her long time friend who leans toward the smartelic, is a psychology major, not artist that she'd get at least some of it -- so she's probably expecting at least a little of this kind of thing from me ... I was supposed to diagnose a tv character last night -- maybe I can do Shakespeare’s statue instead lol
Miguel: He does have an interesting history, much of what I read of his past leans towards the amount of writings he accomplished in his short period of time. Also, every one questions everyone's sexuality (especially if you are famous). As far as a diagnoses, not sure, but it would be interesting to speculate as to his thoughts (expression on face) and body language.
Sue: Sexuality in and of itself would not get a diagnosis -- unless he was struggling with it and his identity with it. Facial expressions and body language are taken very very seriously in psych these days (Gestalt theory) and for the most part, they should be .. But even when they shouldn't be (ie -it's an artists rendering lol)
Miguel: This is true, (sexuality) but history speculates his affair with a young man, "Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, apparently not intended for publication. The majority of these sonnets address the poet's love for a young man. There is no historical evidence…”
Most Common Questions About Shakespearewww.shakespeare-online.com
Miguel: Maybe it is the artist who should be in question, not William.
Me: I love you guys. Awoke after a LONG few days of headache induced sleep to this! Great way to start my day! I agree, Miguel. I don't necessarily question the artist so much as the theorists who are always trying to surmise the sexuality of historical figures. How can we ever know, and what does it matter?
Me: I love that the statue indicates that the gender roles were not quite as clearly defined as they are now..... He wears his bows quite well!
Marjorie: They didn't have velcro back then. They had to use bows and ties to keep stuff where it belonged. And he just looks like he might need glasses. He can't see very far.
Blossom and Irving Levin Family Foundation
Marjorie: Like this one, but there are no leaves, only flowers
Me: Thank you, Marjorie, for starting the conversation! I hadn't noticed the absence of leaves. Great observation!
Marjorie: I have no idea of what I am supposed to do here
Me: Keep making observations! Your critical eye is wonderful!
Leslie: Looks like it is backwards. I would think that if I were sitting on that bench the flowers would be leaning to the sun the right way.
Me: The bench is facing west, toward the non-extant Chicago sunsets. Any further comment knowing the orientation of the sculpture and the direction the flowers are bending, Leslie?
Leslie: That makes me sad. Now I see weeping flowers still facing the wrong way. South? Like they are reaching
Me: The flowers and the bench are located near the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. The fields surrounding the area replicate the natural habitat that once filled the area. Plaques near these flowers encourage visitors to watch the butterflies that are attracted to the butterfly garden, and the museum features hands-on displays encouraging visitors to learn more about the Illinois native plant species. Any additional response, Marjorie?
Sue: Ok, remember I'm not an artist ..but what caught my eye was the hope in the forever presence of the flowers against the winter background .. with the promise of spring in the sprouts of green grass poking through ... the dead of winter giving away to the hope of spring ... I'm probably making no sense, just give me a cup of coffee!
Helen: Possibly just the perspective of the photo, but to me it looks like a fighting mob of entangled flowers on the left trying to pull in the loner branch on the right.
Helen: ...or possibly it is the loner branch escaping from the mob.
Miguel: Thank you Jean for allowing us to join you. As for me, the flowers are a reminder that sometimes, you have to sit and enjoy the view be it artificial or real. The fact that the bench faces toward the sun set emphasizes the inevitable fact which we will all face one day.
Me: Hey Helen ! Don't know how I missed your comment yesterday!
Helen: Ooo, Miguel:! I really like your idea! ... Me: , it's all good, I'm kinda ninja stealth like that!
Miguel: Thank you Helen.
Kay: When I first glance I thought “cool flowers.” But then I thought how much the flowers reminded me of the cold stoic feeling of Chicago. No one looks at you or greets as you pass by. You dare not try to start a conversation on the El. Like the warmth of the South so much more.
Miguel: "A path well traveled is worth traveling" do not recall where I heard this before but when I research it, there were many resources from religious aspects to the "...path less traveled..." quotation. Also reminds me of many references to history such as traveling by foot, the fur hunters, and Native Americans, always used a well worn path.
Marjorie: Taken from this angle, you might see the strength of one man side by side with the strength of many, (the buildings) and nature (the trees).
Me: Interesting observation, Marjorie. Originally he was separated visually from the city by a large granite wall that stood behind him. In other words, when he was first installed, we would have never had this view of him. He is another one who stands at the same busy intersection you noted earlier. The same corner has the large young man holding the eagle, the one Miguel has commented on called "Patriotism," this one and the kneeling figures where you had first commented on how busy the intersection appeared to be.
Elks Memorial: Patriotism
Miguel: This one confuses me, I guess I am not understanding how an eagle sitting on a tree branch behind two people with swords and two other people in "awe" have in common. I like it but just confusing to me.
Me: If you were to invent a narrative for the sculpture, what would it be? And would it help you better relate to the sculpture if you did, or do you think actually knowing what it represents would better help you relate to the work?
Miguel: I think, if I were to create a narrative about this piece, I would depend on symbolism. The ideology of the eagle being the symbol of power and pride for America. Also the swords representing the force behind the military, the soldier, standing ready
Me: Very nice close reading, Miguel! The title is "Patriotism."
Miguel: Yeah, kinda had a feeling it would be called something closely related to "Patriotism".
Marjorie: I still say the stonework behind this is awesome..look at how they match up above that semicircle. I never could pay attention in school. Sorry.
Me: You are a detail-oriented person, Marjorie, which is why you are such a great photographer!
Marjorie: ummmmm is this a place where everyone hurries by?
Me: Chicago was originally built upon an island formed where the Chicago river pours into Lake Michigan. Many of the streets once were old Native American trails all leading to the same point at the mouth of the river. The north part of the city has a number of diagonal streets that intersect with the typical east-west/north-south orientation upon which most American cities are built, resulting in a number of intersections in which not two but three, four, or even five busy streets meet. This one happens to be at the intersection of Sheridan Road, Lakeview Ave, Diversey Parkway, and Cannon Drive meet.
Monument to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Marjorie: This is beautiful and just seems to say a lot-teamwork, leadership
Me: This one is on the other side of the busy intersection you asked about earlier. What gives you the impression of teamwork and leadership?
Marjorie: This regal bird would not would not be where he is without leadership...see, where the man's right hand is? Two strong figures with absence of restraint shows teamwork.
John Peter Altgeld
Marjorie: Lots of emotion
Me: What kind of emotion do you detect, and what makes you say that, Marjorie?
Barbara: Pushing down the disenfranchised. The powerful autocrat is subverting the people who make him who he is. The workers, the women and children, the “less fortunate” are pushed back and ignored.
Me: Barbara, interesting comment! For months, the model for the sculpture had been displayed at the artist’s studio. Once the sculpture was revealed, that was precisely the critics’ response!
Marjorie: This guy fits right in with all the other important fellas in history. I like it, but don't think it does justice to the animal’s beauty.
Barbara: It is interesting that this bison seems to be pieced together; it’s a three dimensional mosaic, almost. Symbolic of the U.S. in some ways—pieced together from parts of the whole world.
Me: I love this grouping because it appears right beside one of the large recycling drop-off locations in the area, Barbara, and it is made from recycled steel.
Barbara: Roots, antlers, blood vessels, an orgy? All of the above?
Me: The piece is entitled “Steelroots.” Nice eye!
Barbara: The bird resting on top of this is the most interesting part of this piece.
Me: I caught a series of photos of him flying away from traffic and landing on the sculpture. As I have noted, I am compiling a video from all my photos. I will send a link of the footage.
Marjorie: Love this picture
Me: Thanks!! Made me miss our night on the prairie with nothing more than stars and flashlights for lighting!
Miguel: I like the picture, great contrast between the snow, the buildings in the background and the statue in between. Interesting enough, do you know if the same artist did this statue as the one in Washington D.C.? The memorial honoring General Philip Sheridan located in the center of Sheridan Circle in Washington, D.C. It was sculpted by Gutzon Borglum in 1908. I can’t copy the picture but only difference is the horse itself. Sheridan is in the same position. http://www.washdiplomat.com/index.php?option=com_content&id=8028:civil-war-he..Civil War Heroes Immortalized Along Circles of Embassy Row
Me: Very good eye, Miguel! This is the second representation Borglum did of Sheridan! He finished this one in 1923. He preferred this piece over his earlier (1808) version in D.C. Since I have asked you all to cite your sources, I will do the same once we have discussed the pieces a bit more. My references are listed in full on the note.
Miguel: Sorry, out of practice on siting. I did include the source but did not quote. Not sure on how to correct it.
Me: Don't worry about that part of it. I will take care of it as long as you mention the link in the comment like you did! Thanks, Miguel!
Miguel: No problem
Marjorie: Strength, majesty
Miguel: Great representation of culture influences. Wonder what native American tribe or tribes, it is representing??
Me: Anyone care to take a guess on this one?
Miguel: So many tribes up in that area. The Five Civilized Tribes were in that area, I think??!!!
Me: It is a replica of an original totem donated to the city in 1929 by James L. Kraft, the founder of Kraft, Incorporated.
Miguel: I am mistaken, the Five Civilized Tribes where from the south east, Mississippi area. My Bad.
Miguel: That is interesting.
Me: Miguel, the area was inhabited by a number of tribes including the Miamis, Illinois, Potawatomis, Ottawas, and Chippewas. The name Chi-ca-gou meant "Place of the Wild Onion" because they grew profusely on the island located at the mouth of the Chicago River. One of the early European traders, Jacques Marquette, adopted the name for the area. Why did you find the donor "interesting?"
Miguel: just related Kraft with cheese/dairy and not Native Americana. Interesting enough, makes me wonder if he had Native American roots.
Me: Anyone else want to play with this idea a bit?
Marjorie: Mr. Kraft had business in BC Canada. This deal might have had a better chance of coming from native Americans there than from the local tribes.
Me: Very good conclusion, Marjorie! It was carved by Kwakiutl tribe who lived on Victoria Island, BC!