Tuesday, July 10, 2012

UIUC [ Fragments from unfinished Fountain of Creation - by Lorado Taft]

A Daughter of Pyrrha

Fragments from Lorado Taft's "Fountain of Creation"
Sons and Daughters of Deucalion and Pyrrha
Daughters: East side of the Main Library
Sons: South side of Foellinger Auditorium
At UIUC [University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign]

Lorado Taft, has a number of  public sculptures in Chicago. Around 1917,  he proposed to the city a pair of huge fountains, one at each end of a strip of public park known as the Midway Plaisance on the Chicago's south side. On the western edge, the Fountain of Time and at the eastern edge would stand the Fountain of Creation. Although the Fountain of Time was completed, The Fountain of Creation was never completed. The Fountain of Creation is inspired by the Greek mythological story of Deucalion and Pyrrha. 

Taft planned 38 monumental figures and figure groups for the "Fountain of Creation".  But only four were carved in stone. Two flank the entrance of the UIUC Main Library [daughters of Pyrrha] and two are on the south side of Foellinger Auditorium [sons of Deucalion].  In addition, a scale model of the central group for the "Fountain of Creation" is at the Krannert Art Museum

For my post on "The Fountain of Time", by Lorado Taft ..click here..
For an image of the model of "Fountain of Creation",  by Lorado Taft.. click here..
Here is Lorado Taft with his model for the Fountain of Creation.. click here..


A Daughter of Pyrrah


The above two sculptures.. Daughters of  Pyrrha, in front of the Main Library,  UIUC.

The plaques on the statues incorrectly spell Pyrrha as "Pyrrah." 

Excerpt from the Virtual Tour [UIUC].. click here
Lorado Taft created these statues, and Walter Zimmerman, a Chicago sculptor, carved them in 1933 out of Indian limestone...
Pyrrha was the daughter of Epimetheus and Pandora. Pyrrha, the first mortal-born woman married her cousin, Deucalion, and survived the Flood with him. Her daughters were Pandora and Thyla; each had children by Zeus. There are companion sculptures, "Sons of Deulcalion," which can be found on the south side of Foellinger Auditorium. The statues were a gift in 1937 from Mrs. Ada Taft. They stand in front of the east entrance.

A Son of Ducalion

A Son of Ducalion

Sons of Deucalion, on the south side of Foellinger Auditorium
As stated above, these four sculptural fragments  from the incomplete "Fountain of Creation", are in the campus of UIUC.  The Krannert Art Museum as model of the central group of figures..

Excerpt from the marker..
The ancient Greek myth of Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha, the only survivors of a great flood, inspired this central portion of the unfinished Fountain of Creation. An oracle instructed the couple to throw their mother's bones over their shoulder in order to repopulate the earth. They threw stones, the bones of mother earth, which sprang to life.

Taft's clustered figures emerge from a stony background in poses that recall motifs from Michelangelo's unfinished sculpture, specifically the Battle of  Lapiths and Centaurs reliefs at the Casa Buonarroti in Florence.

Details of the model for "Fountain of Creation"...

The Founatin of Creation was never completed. However, it was designed for the east end of the Midway Plaisance, as a counterpart of his "Fountain of Time" on the west end.

Fountain of Time - by Lorado Taft at the west end of the Midway Plaisance..
For more images of the "Fountain of Time",  click here.. 
For the story of Sons and Daughters of Deucalion and Pyrrah, from Wikipedia, .. click here..

A Day Trip to Urbana-Champaign: July 3, 2012.. click here..


Julie Schauer said...

Thank you for sharing -- I love Lorado Taft's work, particularly the Art Institute's Solitude of the Soul.

Also I appreciate the sharing of Oregon's latest sculpture, and many other Chicago area monuments I've never seen

Jyoti said...

Thanks Julie!
Also, I checked out your website, and found some awesome work!