Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lincoln Park [Hans Cristian Andersen Monument - by John Gelert]

Hans Cristian Andersen Monument 

by Johan Gelert

Installed: 1896

Location: Lincoln Park / East of Stockton Drive

Gift to the City by Chicago's Danish-American community

Hans Cristian Andersen Monument - by John Gelert

Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels and poems, he is best remembered for his literary fairy tales.   

In the sculpture, Andersen is portrayed seated on a tree stump. There is a book on his right knee and his hands are resting on the book. Next to him is a swan, the subject of his best-selling book, "The Ugly Duckling".

Hans Cristian Andersen Monument - by John Gelert

Chicago's Dania Society suggested that the city should erect a monument for Han Christen Andersen., In 1891 a committee was formed and began raising money for the sculpture, which included pennis and nickels from school children. The Hans Christian Andersen Monument Association commissioned John Gelert to produce the sculpture.

Like Andersen, sculptor John Gelert (Johannes Sophos Gelert) was also born in Denmark. In 1970, he enrolled in the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, where he graduated with honors in 1875. For the next 10 years he worked and studied in Denmark, Sweden, France and Italy, becoming a protege of some of Europe's leading sculptors.

Immigrating to America in 1887, Gelert established his studio in Chicago. He became a citizen of the US in 1892 and four years later married Georgine Sundberg, with who he had three children. He moved to New York City in 1898 and lived there until his death in 1923.

Gelert designed two more sculptures in Chicago...
- the Haymarket Riot Monument
- the bust of Beethoven (1897). It was stolen from the Lincoln Park in 1970.

Gelert displayed the Hans Christian Andersen Monument and the now-missing Beethoven portrait bust at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893.


Chicago North sculptures... click here...

Website.. click here..



adgorn said...

It's "Andersen"!

Rex gelert said...

And it,s Johannes Sophus Gelert,
My great grandfather.
Rex Gelert

Jyoti said...

Thanks Rex! Good to meet the sculptors grandson.