Tuesday, August 10, 2010

B.F. Ferguson Monument Fund

Public Art is free for all to enjoy..
But it doesn't come for free..
There's a [usually huge] price-tag attached, and someone picks up the tab.. I have previously talked about funding of Public Art in Chicago.. And post is specifically on the sculptures funded by the B.F.Ferguson Monument Fund..

When Benjamin Franklin Ferguson died in 1905, through his will, he left $1 million of charitable trust fund to the Art Institute of Chicago, to be known as the B. F. Ferguson Fund .. This fund was to be..
"entirely and exclusively expended by it under the direction of its Board of Trustees in the erection and maintenance of enduring statuary and monuments, in the whole or in part of stone, granite or bronze, in the parks, along the boulevards or in other public places, within the city of Chicago, Illinois, commemorating worthy men or women of America or important events of American history. The plans or designs for such statuary or monuments and the location of the same shall be determined by the Board of Trustees of such Institute."

About 20 public works have been funded by B.F.Ferguson Monument Fund..
Though the progress can be divided in phases..
PHASE I.. [1905-1931] 11 monuments/sculptures were funded..
PHASE II.. [1932-1966] No sculptures was funded.. In fact the fund was used to create the Art Institutes's Administrative Wing..
PHASE -III.. [1967 onwards].. About 9 monuments/sculptures have been funded..


[1] Fountain of the Great Lakes[1913]
- By Lorado Taft
Location: Art Institute of Chicago
South Garden
Memorial to B.F.Ferguson..

[2] Statue of the Republic [1918]
– By Daniel Chester French..
Location: Jackson park
To Commemorate the 25th anniversary of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition..

[3] The Logan Square Monument [1918]
- By Henry Bacon [Design] and Evelyn B. Longman [Relief]..
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the admission of Illinois state..
The eagle, is in reference to the state flag. Reliefs surrounding the base depict figures of Native Americans, explorers, farmers and laborers intended to show the great changes experienced during the state's first century.

[4] Alexander Hamilton statue [1918]
– By Bela Lyon Pratt..
Location - Grant Park [??]
Memorial to Alexander Hamilton..
The architectural work was done by Charles A Coolidge. This statue is said to be last work produced by Bela Lyon Pratt before his death..
But where is it??? I doubt if it's still there..

[5] Fountain of Time [1922]
– By Lorado Taft..
Location: Western edge of the Midway Plaisance in the Washington Park ..
To commemorate the first 100 years of peace between the United States and Great Britain, resulting from the Treaty of Ghent in 1814..

[6] Eugene Field Memorial [1922]
- By Edward Francis McCartan..
Location: Lincoln Park Zoo..
Erected in 1922, by school children and citizens, aided by the B.F.Ferguson Fund.. as a memorial for Eugene Fields, best known from his children's poetry and humorous essays..

[7] Spirit of Music [1923]
- By Albin Polasek..
A memorial to Theodore Thomas [1835-1905], first conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO)..

[8] Jacques Marquette Memorial [1926]
– Hermon Atkins MacNeil..
Location: Douglas Park
Statue of Jacques Marquette, Louis Jolliet, and an Illinois Indian ..
To commemorate the discoveries and the sacrifices of the Jesuit missionary Father Jacques Marquette..

[9] Defense and Regeneration [1928]
– By Henry Hering..
Location: Michigan Avenue bridge - south pylons..
To commemorate early events in the history of Chicago, much of which occurred on this spot… "Defense", on the southwest pylon, depicts the Fort Dearborn Massacre of 1812. [The massacre actually occurred two miles south of the fort].. and.. "Regeneration", on the southeast pylon, shows workers rebuilding Chicago after the Great Fire of 1871, which destroyed the central city.

[10] Bowman and the Spearman [1928]
- By Ivan Mestrovic..
Location: Michigan Avenue Plaza
To commemorate Native Americans.
Mestrovic cast the pieces in Yugoslavia..

[11] Fountain of the Tritons [1931]
- By Carl Milles
Location: McKinlock Court, at the Art Institute of Chicago..
To commemorate John Ericsson and other Swedish Americans. Ericsson created the "Monitor", the first iron-clad turret ship, which did battle with the Merrimack in the Civil War. However, this installation is not in a public space, but in the McKinlock Court within the Art Institute of Chicago..

PHASE II: 1932 – 1966
[12] Ferguson Memorial Building..
Between the period 1932-1966, no new sculpture was added by the Ferguson Fund.. However, in 1951, the Art Institute claimed $1.6 million for it's own use, to fund a new north wing to house it's administrative offices. The building was competed in 1958 and is named the Benjamin F. Ferguson Memorial Building.. [A very controversial decision, which generated some legal battles..]

Another way to define Phase II is from 1929 to 1966:
In this time, no public sculpture was installed by the Ferguson Fund.
After the 1928 installation of the Equestrian Indians [Bowman & Spearman] by Ivan Mestrovic at Grant Park.. there was no new public sculptures installed by the Ferguson Fund for 38 years. In 1967, when "Nuclear Energy" by Sir Henry Moore was installed at the University of Chicago.. Although in 1931, "Fountain of the Tritons" by Carl Milles was installed at the Art Institute, but it does not qualify as public space..

PHASE III: 1967 onwards..

[13] Nuclear Energy [1967]
– By Henry Moore..
Location: University of Chicago, Hyde Park..
To commemorate the first self-sustaining controlled nuclear reaction. It was erected for and dedicated at the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the splitting of the atom on the grounds by Enrico Fermi in December 2, 1942. Thus, it was dedicated at precisely 3:36 p.m. on December 2, 1967 ...

[14] Slabs of the Sunburnt West [1975]...
– By Richard Hunt..
Location: University of Illinois, Chicago..
Memorial to Illinois poet and historian Carl Sandburg..
inspired by Sandburg's 1922 poem of the same name, Slabs of Sunburnt West..

[15] Sculpture by Isamu Noguchi [1976]..
Location: Art Institute of Chicago
To commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the Founding of the Republic. And was commissioned to coincide with the Art Institute’s East Wing..

[16] I have a Dream [1978]
– By Abbott Pattison..
Location: Chicago State University..
Memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr...
Yet to see..

[17] Man Enters Cosmos [1980]
– By Sir Henry Moore..
Location: Adler Planetarium Plaza..
To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the birth of Copernicus..

[18] Man on A Bench [1986]
– By George Segal..
Location: IIT campus - Green Park Bench
To commemorate the Centennial of Mies van der Rohe’s birth ..
This is the first piece of public sculpture displayed outdoors of the IIT campus..

[19]Helping Hands [1996]
- By Louis Bourgeois..
Location: Navy Pier Park / Jane Addams Memorial Park ..
Memorial to Jane Addams...

[20] Sculpture for DuSable Park [commissioned in 1998, not installed yet]
- By Martin Puryear ..
B.F. Ferguson Fund of Art Institute of Chicago commissioned Martin Puryear to create a sculpture for DuSable Park, as a Memorial for Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, but commission dependent on Park's completion .. Puryear's sculpture is non-representational, "a cube with a feather on it."..

If I missed something, please let me know..


Anonymous said...

Your site is really nice. It is so informative. Keep up the good work.
Are you an Art student? Architect?

Terry said...

Thank you for these treasures (just like the photographer). They are to be sought out and enjoyed. Those Ferguson people sure knew what they were doing!

Jyoti said...

Thanks Terry!