Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Lorado Taft's "Fountain of the Great Lakes" at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The Fountain of the Great Lakes depicts five female figures grouped together so that water flows from their shells the same way it passes through the Great Lake system. Superior, at the top, and Michigan empty their water into the basin held by Huron, who sends her stream to Erie. Ontario receives water and gazes off as it flows into the ocean. Completed in 1913, the fountain now sits inside the south wing of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Feeding pigeons at the original site of Lorado Taft's "Fountain of the Great Lakes."
in the South Garden of the Art Institute of Chicago (1929)
The idea for a Great Lakes fountain came from a remark made by architect Daniel Burnham at the Columbian Exposition in 1893. Burnham chided the sculptors assembled to ornament the fairgrounds for not "making anything" of the tremendous natural resources in the west, especially the Great Lakes.
The Fountain of the Great Lakes is one of the best-known works of Lorado Taft, an Illinois native who was educated at the University of Illinois and later at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.

1 comment:

  1. As a past member of the Art Institute, for all the times, I have been there, and lived in Chicago for the first 52 years of my life, I have never heard of or seen this "Fountain of the Great Lakes". If I did happen to see it, I can't imagine not remembering. The photos above are exquisite and I will hope to visit Chicago again very soon. Just to see this enchanting fountain. Thank you, Mr. Gale, for sharing this.


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