AIC: South Garden / Fountain of the Great Lakes – by Lorado Taft

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Fountain of the Great Lakes – by Lorado Taft

Bronze work created between 1907-1913.

Installed: 1913 / Relocated: 1963.

Location: South Garden at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The Fountain of the Great Lakes was the first commission of Benjamin F. Ferguson Fund,
which had been established several years earlier to foster the placement of statuary and monuments along the boulevards and in other public places in Chicago.
The fountain is a memorial to B.F.Ferguson.

The fountain was originally in 1913 in front of the Art Institute’s old south wall. It was reloacted to the current site in 1963, when the Art Institute of Chicago completed its Morton East Wing addition. Unfortunately, sited at this location, the monument’s original bas-relief sculpture of art patron B.F. Ferguson is obscured from public view.

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Fountain of the Great Lakes - by Lorad Taft

Fountain of the Great Lakes – by Lorad Taft

 

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Fountain of the Great Lakes is an allegorical sculpture by Lorado Taft. As the name suggests, this fountain represents the Five Great Lakes – Lake Superior, Lake Michigan,  Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and  Lake Ontario.  The five women are so arranged that the water flows through them in the same way water passes through the Great Lakes.

‘Superior’ is on the top and ‘Michigan’ on the side both empty into the basin of ‘Huron,’
who sends the stream to ‘Erie’ whereas ‘Ontario’ receives the water and gazes off as it flows into the ocean.

The fountain is Taft’s response to Daniel Burnham’s complaint at the Columbian Exposition in 1893 that the sculptors charged with ornamenting the fairgrounds failed to produce anything that represented the great natural resources of the west, especially the Great Lakes. The fountain depicts five women that represent the five Great Lakes, and the water flows through them in the same way water passes through the Great Lakes.

This garden surrounding the fountain was designed by the Office of Dan Kiley, who was a renowned late 20th Century landscape architect.

 

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Fountain of the Great Lakes - by Lorad Taft

Fountain of the Great Lakes – by Lorad Taft

 

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Fountain of the Great Lakes - by Lorad Taft

Lake Superior / Fountain of the Great Lakes – by Lorad Taft

 

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Fountain of the Great Lakes - by Lorad Taft

Lake Michigan / Fountain of the Great Lakes – by Lorad Taft

 

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Fountain of the Great Lakes - by Lorad Taft

Lake Huron / Fountain of the Great Lakes – by Lorad Taft

 

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Fountain of the Great Lakes - by Lorad Taft

Lake Erie / Fountain of the Great Lakes – by Lorad Taft

 

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Fountain of the Great Lakes - by Lorad Taft

Lake Ontario / Fountain of the Great Lakes – by Lorad Taft

 

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Fountain of the Great Lakes - by Lorad Taft

Fountain of the Great Lakes – by Lorad Taft

 

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Fountain of the Great Lakes - by Lorad Taft

Fountain of the Great Lakes – by Lorad Taft

 

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Fountain of the Great Lakes - by Lorad Taft

Fisher Boy / Fountain of the Great Lakes – by Lorad Taft

 

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Fountain of the Great Lakes - by Lorad Taft

Fountain of the Great Lakes – by Lorad Taft

 

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SOUTH GARDEN LANDSCAPE – by DAN KILEY

The garden surrounding the fountain was designed by the Office of Dan Kiley, who was a renowned late 20th Century landscape architect.

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South Garden - by Dan Kiley / Art Institute of Chicago.

South Garden – by Dan Kiley / Art Institute of Chicago.

 

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South Garden - by Dan Kiley / Art Institute of Chicago.

South Garden – by Dan Kiley / Art Institute of Chicago.

 

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South Garden - by Dan Kiley / Art Institute of Chicago.

South Garden – by Dan Kiley / Art Institute of Chicago.

 

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South Garden - by Dan Kiley / Art Institute of Chicago.

South Garden – by Dan Kiley / Art Institute of Chicago.

 

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South Garden - by Dan Kiley / Art Institute of Chicago.

South Garden – by Dan Kiley / Art Institute of Chicago.

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RELATED LINKS

Art Institute of Chicago: Public Art.. click here..
Art by Location.. click here..
B.F.Ferguson Monument Fund.. click here..
Home.. click here..

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