Monday, March 30, 2009

Museum Campus: Field Museum Lawn [Totem Pole : Big Beaver - by Norman Tait]




Totem: Big Beaver ..
Carver: Norman Tait ..
Installed: 1982 ..
Description: Cedar, H 65 ft.
Commissioned by The Field Museum
Location: The Field Museum ...
1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., Museum Campus..




Big Beaver is a contemporary totem pole in the traditional mode, commissioned to commemorate the opening of The Field Museum’s hall of Northwest Coast and Arctic Peoples. The totem tells the legend of Canadian artist Norman Tait’s ancestors of the Nisga'a Tsimshian group and how they came to adopt the beaver as their clan symbol. Human and animal figures dramatize family myths and comprise a visual statement of Tait’s ancestral identity and lineage.








The plaque reads ...
" The Story of Big Beaver ...
Totem pole by Norman Tait
Nisga's carver, Kincolith, British Columbia ...

This 55-foot totem pole tells a traditional story [or Addizookan] of carver Norman Tait's family ...

Five brothers went on a beaver hunt. Although the hunt was successful, two small beavers escaped from the hunters. The youngest brother - too little to hunt - followed the beavers and kindly helped them home.

At the beaver's lodge, the youngest brother peered inside and saw that the small beavers had removed their pelts, revealing that they were human. He also listened as the beavers told their grandfather, the Beaver Chief, about the slaughter of their family.

Full of remorse for what his family had done to the beaver people, the youngest brother decided to adopt the beaver for his family crest; his brothers agreed and never again hunter beaver ... "


RELATED LINKS..
# Big Beaver..
# Kwanusila, The Thunderbird ..
# Totem Poles in Chicago..

Museum Campus : Field Museum Plaza [What You See..]




What you see ...
Location: Field Museum lawn ...
The museum campus gives an incredible view of Chicago skyline ...
"What you see" is self-explanatory...



For more on Grant Park ..
# Public Art in the Grant Park .. click here ....
# Gardens in the Grant Park .. click here ..
# Often overlooked but remarkable features like pedestrian crossings, the railway lines underneath, the street lamp posts, balustrade, corbels, the Y-symbols .. click here ..
# For a brief history of Grant Park .. click here ..

Museum Campus : Field Museum Lawn [Replica of colossal Olmec Head # 8]





Replica of colossal Olemec Head # 8..
Head of Veracruz leader, Ignacio Perez Solano..
Description: Stone, H 7 ft. 3 in, 1700 pound ..
Location: The Field Museum lawn
1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., Museum Campus
City of Chicago Public Art Collection

The ancient Olmec, one of the first complex societies in the Americas, are remembered for their colossal head sculptures, 17 of which have been recovered to date. Each original head is distinctive and believed to embody the likeness of an individual leader. Though all of the heads were carved in a stylized manner, Olmec Head #8 is considered the most naturalistic. The State of Veracruz, Mexico donated Ignacio Perez Solano’s 1700-pound stone replica to the City of Chicago.



The plaque reads ..." This sculpture is a replica of Olmec Head #8 from the site of San Lorenzo. It is one of 17 known colossal heads created by the ancient Olmec people in the states of Veracruz and Tobasco, Mexico.
The Olmec flourished in the Gulf Coast region of Mexico from 1300 to 300 BC. Most scholars believe that Olmec carved these stone heads to commemorate their rulers."




Another plaque reads ...
" Olmec Head, Number 8
Gift of the Government of the State of Veracruz, Mexico and Miguel Aleman, Governor of Veracruz, to the People of Chicago.
Dedicated October 21, 2003
City of Chicago
Richard M Daley, Mayor
City of Chicago Public Art Collection."...




For more on Grant Park ..
# Public Art in the Grant Park .. click here ....
# Gardens in the Grant Park .. click here ..
# Often overlooked but remarkable features like pedestrian crossings, the railway lines underneath, the street lamp posts, balustrade, corbels, the Y-symbols .. click here ..
# For a brief history of Grant Park .. click here ..

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Museum Campus: Monuments on the "Solidarity Drive"



Solidarity Drive ...
The road between the Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium was named the "Solidarity Drive" in 1998 ... after reconstruction of 2,800 linear feet of shoreline. Improvements included the construction of step stone revetment.

The choice of name "Solidarity Drive" is in commemoration of Lech Walesa's ultimately successful movement to bring freedom to Poland named "Solidarity Movement". This road is lined with three statues...
# Nicolaus Copernicus
# Karel Havlicek
# Thaddeus Kosciuzsko
Point to note is that, Chicago has the largest Polish population outside of Warsaw ... And many times in history, Chicago's Polish polulation has outnumbered Polish population in Warsaw..





Monument to Nicolaus Copernicus ..
Sculptor: Bertel Thorvaldsen
Installed: 1973
Description: Bronze, H 8.5 ft.
Gift of the Copernicus Foundation and the Polish-American Congress to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the birth of Copernicus ..
Location: Solidarity Dr ... Museum Campus ...

Nicolas Copernicus [1473 – 1543], founder of modern astronomy, is honored by this graceful Neoclassical sculpture located near the Adler Planetarium. Born in Poland, where he was both a physician and a priest, Copernicus was the first person to assert that the earth and its planets revolve around the sun.

The 19th century Danish-born artist Bertel Thorvaldsen depicted the astronomer seated in dream-like reverie, his eyes turned to the stars and his hands holding the tools of his trade: an armillary sphere and an open compass. Chicago’s bronze sculpture is a copy of the 1823 original located in Warsaw, Poland.





Karel Havlicek Memorial ...
Sculptor: Joseph Strachovsky
Installed: 1911
Location: Solidarity Dr ... Museum Campus ...
This statue honors Karel Havlicek .. a Bohemian writer [Czech republic], statesman, and martyr.





Thaddeus Kosciuzsko Memorial ..
Sculptor: Kasimir Chodsinski
Installed: 1904
Location: Solidarity Dr ... Museum Campus ...
A monument remembering the Revolutionary War general and military engineer of Polish descent.

Museum Campus : Gold Star Families Memorial and Park




The Gold Star Families Memorial and Park is located along Lake Michigan on the east side of Soldier Field. It is nearly five acres extending from McFetridge Drive on the North to Waldron Drive on the South. The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation ensured that the design of the park would be as exceptional as the men and women it honors.

REF: Chicago Police Memorial Foundation .. click here ...




North Entrance .. ... Both the North and South entrances to the park include identical features. Each entrance is showcased by two large rectangular panes, which have a rising checkerboard pattern. These panels are turned on their axis so as to symbolize doors swung open. Upon passing through there doors, visitors have a real sensation of leaving the hustle and buslte of the city behind, as they are welcomed into the "Finest Law Enforcement Memorial in the Nation."


Living Sacrifice... Just prior to entering the Sacrifice Space from the North visitors come upon the "Living Sacrifice" space. This is an area dedicated to Officers who have been castrophically injured while protecting the city and it's citizens. This space honors these brave men and women and their families who by the way they deal with tremendous adversity continue to inspire us each and every day.






Virtue and Value Nodes...
In keeping with the fitting message that "It is not how these Officers died that made them heroes, it is how they lived," four nodes or spaces greet visitors entering the park from the North. Each of these nodes identifies a different virtue or value of a Chicago Police Officer. There are individual nodes, designated to represent the noble traits of Honor, Courage, Family, and Service. These nodes are all connected by a thin blueline. The line signifies the protection that Officers provide, separating a civil society from chaos. Donar brick pavers are available in each node.

* I wish I could take some aerial photos, to showcase the structural planning of this beautiful memorial.

Burnham Park: Soldier Field Children's Garden

 

Soldier Field Children's Garden
Installed: 2002
Landscape Architect: Lindsay Schaudt
Location: Northeast of Soldier Field, South of McFetridge Drive
 
 


The play structures were named ... Culture Earth, The Earth's Moon, Geography Earth, Water Earth, Climbing Earth and Rock Earth ...


 
 
 
From the Chicago Park Distrct website .. click here..
 
As part of a major addition and rehabilitation to Soldier Field in 2002, landscape architect Peter Lindsay Schaudt redesigned the parkland around the historic stadium. The project included the creation of a new children’s garden that relates to the three museums nearby—the Field Museum of Natural History, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium. Throughout the play space, various features evoke the themes of each museum. Large sculptural spheres representing the Earth can be climbed on or through. A path spirals around like a nautilus. There is a spider web-like jungle gym. Children who explore carefully will also find other subtle imagery such as seahorses and the Milky Way.
 
 
Culture Earth
 
 
Culture Earth detail..
 


 
Culture Earth and Earth's Moon
 
 
 
 
Geography Earth
 
 
 
Water Earth
 
 
 
Climbing Earth



Climbing Earth..
 
 


Rock Earth





For more on Grant Park ..
# Public Art in the Grant Park .. click here ....
# Gardens in the Grant Park .. click here ..
# Often overlooked but remarkable features like pedestrian crossings, the railway lines underneath, the street lamp posts, balustrade, corbels, the Y-symbols .. click here ..
# For a brief history of Grant Park .. click here ..

Friday, March 27, 2009

Museum Campus [Three forms for Chicago - by David Nash]




Spheres Turn, Pyramids Rise, Cubes Stay Still ..
Three forms for Chicago ...
Artist: David Nash ..
Loan of the artist to the City of Chicago Public Art Collection ..
Installed: 2000
Location: Museum Campus, northwest side near Lake Shoredrive ...

Description:
Wood sphere: Diam 8ft
Pyramid: H 16ft x W 10ft
Cube: H 10ft x W 8ft


A British sculptor of international renown, David Nash works primarily with wood. His sculptural form often elemental in nature, realize the subtle balance form and medium and speak of the collaborative relation with the earth. "Three forms for Chicago" comprises of three geometric sculptures made from recycled wood indigenous the the Midwest. The charred patina was achieved after the installation by burning the works. A direct comment on the relationship of man with nature, Nash's sculpture is a passionate plea for awareness of this relationaship and the responsibility that comes from such awareness ...

For more on Grant Park ..
# Public Art in the Grant Park .. click here ....
# Gardens in the Grant Park .. click here ..
# Often overlooked but remarkable features like pedestrian crossings, the railway lines underneath, the street lamp posts, balustrade, corbels, the Y-symbols .. click here ..
# For a brief history of Grant Park .. click here ..

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Grant Park [Agora - by Magdalena Abakanowicz]







Agora ...
Sculptor: Magdalena Abakanowicz [Polish sculptor]...
Description: 106 cast iron figures ... H 9 ft. each... weighing eleven hundred pounds each .. created in Poland ...
Location: Grant Park, intersection of S. Michigan Ave. and Roosevelt Road, Chicago ..
Agora is a Greek word for "meeting place" ...

“Agora,” a permanent installation in the Grant Park, by Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz. It consists of 106 headless armless cast iron figures, each about 9 feet tall, shell like, frozen in walking movement. The figures are similar in general shape, but different in details. Models for each figure were made by hand, by the artist and her three assistants. The surfaces of figures are like a tree bark or wrinkled face expressing a different individuality of each sculpture.

The figures were cast during two years [2004-2006] in a huge industrial foundry in Srem near the city of Poznan [Poland], then transported to the USA. The installation took place in October–November 2006 ... Agora has a $3 million price tag. Donors, including actor Robin Williams, working through the park district-affiliated Parkways Foundation, are contributing about $700,000, with the rest coming from the Polish government and a Polish foundation. No tax dollars was used.





About the artist Magdalena Abakanowicz ...
Born into an aristocratic family just outside of Warsaw, she was deeply affected by World War II and the forty-five years of Soviet domination that followed. In her journals, she writes that she has lived “…in times which were extraordinary by their various forms of collective hate and collective adulation. Marches and parades worshipped leaders, great and good, who soon turned out to be mass murderers. I was obsessed by the image of the crowd… I suspected that under the human skull, instincts and emotions overpower the intellect without us being aware of it.”

The sculptor began creating large headless figures in the 1970s. Initially working in burlap and resin, she went on to use bronze, steel, and iron. Although Abakanowicz has frequently exhibited in museums and public spaces throughout the world— Agora is her largest permanent installation.

REF: Agora in Grant Park .. click here ...

For more on Magdalena Abakanowicz works .. click here ...

For more on Grant Park ..
# Public Art in the Grant Park .. click here ....
# Gardens in the Grant Park .. click here ..
# Often overlooked but remarkable features like pedestrian crossings, the railway lines underneath, the street lamp posts, balustrade, corbels, the Y-symbols .. click here ..
# For a brief history of Grant Park .. click here ..