Friday, March 12, 2010

Lincoln Park [Indian Alarm - by John J. Boyle]

Indian Alarm..
Sculptor: John J. Boyle
Completed: 1884
The only information I could get on this was on the website.."Early Chicago" which describes it as..
Ottawa Indian family on the move, halting as if alert to some imminent danger..

The granite tablets at the base depict scenes from Ottawa life..
- The Peace Pipe
- The Corn Dance
- Forestry
- The Hunt


adgorn said...

Isn't this a beautiful statue. (FYI That's my photo on Early Chicago! I have done a lot of work with them, helping to locate various monuments and markers.)

More info from my waymark of this statue at

"The Alarm, designed by John J. Boyle and unveiled May 1884, is the earliest work in Chicago to depict American Indians. It depicts a lifesize brave and his seated squaw with their papoose and dog, and all seem to be alert to some pending danger.

The sculptor's benefactor was Martin Ryerson (1818-1887), who spent several years trading with the Indians in Michigan. Thus the inscription on the base reads: "To the Ottawa Nation of Indians, my early friends." Ryerson established a lumber business and came to Chicago, where he had several office buildings built in the loop.

The sculpture was cast in bronze in Philadelphia. The original display of the statue included a surrounding low concrete decorative wall with urns. Also, the original plaques on the 4 sides of the pedestal were bronze and were subsequently stolen by vandals. New "plaques" of engraved stone were put in place depicting The Hunt, Forestry, The Corn Dance and The Peace Pipe."

One of my reference sources was the Smithsonian Art Inventory catalog:!7960~!7&ri=5&aspect=basic&menu=search&source=~!siartinventories&profile=ariall

I am in the process of waymarking Smithsonian outdoor art in the Chicago area. The Smithsonian often relies on Bach & Gray "Guide to Chicago's Public Sculpture" and Riedy "Chicago Sculpture", both excellent books, as their source.

Another good source for historical sculpture info are the Chicago Tribune online archives. There are numerous articles on Chicago's public sculpture. If interested, I can send to you.

You can see a historical photo here:

Jyoti said...

Thanks for the exhaustive information.

kym said...

Thank you for your information on this statue. I am a member of the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa, (Ottawa) Indians. Your information is greatly appreciated. Kym-LTTB Odawa Indians

Anonymous said...

Hi Jyoti!! I saw your post just prior to mine. How nice to see your name and "hear" from you. You took some pictures at our groom shop, Wizard of Pawz. We always looked forward to seeing you. We all hope you are doing well. Kym

Jyoti said...

Hi Kym,
I am so glad to see your comment.
It's been really long, I've visited your wonderful "Wizard of Pawz", I'll be there soon. And you will tell me about the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa, (Ottawa) Indians..

How's my black cat doing, the one who loves my black coat and black camera?