Art in Grant Park, Chicago

A couple of Sundays ago, as daughter Zoe was auditioning for ballet schools downtown, Stacey and I took a long walk in Grant Park, the 320-acre front lawn of Chicago. Sun and temperatures above freezing brought thousands to the park, many to enjoy skating on the rink in Millennium Park and the skating path in Maggie Daly Park. The crowds thinned as we wove our way through Grant Park to the Field Museum of Natural History, passing as many of the sculpture as we could locate. Here is our route: walking route

Looking Into My Dreams, Awilda

This temporary sculpture was designed by James Pensa, the Barcelona artist who designed the Crown Fountain nearby, which offers a video display of 1,000 Chicago faces. The sculpture was originally installed in Rio de Janeiro. It will be removed in December 2015. The marble and resin sculpture is 39 feet tall.

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Looking into my dreams, Awilda.

Looking into My Dreams

Installation in Rio.

 BP Pedestrian Bridge

The serpentine 925-foot-long pedestrian bridge crosses Columbia Drive and connects the Maggie Daly Park with the Pritzker Pavilion. Both the bridge and the pavilion were designed by Frank Gehry.

BP Pedestrian Bridge.

BP Pedestrian Bridge.

General John Logan Memorial

This classical bronze sculpture, unveiled in 1897, sits atop a forty-foot-tall hill, whose snowy slopes offered a challenge to us hikers. Logan was an Civil War general, a  senator, and a vice-presidential candidate. The sculptors were August Saint-Gaudens (human) and Alexander Proctor (horse).

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General John Logan Memorial

Christopher Columbus Monument

Located alongside its namesake thoroughfare, the 15-feet-tall bronze sculpture depicts Columbus as he surveys the horizon, with a map in hand. Carl Brioschi was the artist. The sculpture was dedicated on Italian Day in 1933.

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Christopher Columbus Monument.

Big Beaver Totem

This 65-foot-tall cedar totem rises from the base of the steps at the Field Museum. The totem tells the legend of Canadian artist Norman Tait’s ancestors and how they came to adopt the beaver as their clan symbol. The art was installed in 1982.

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Big Beaver Totem.


Our last stop before we walked back north along the fabulous facades of South Michigan Avenue was the 2006 installation Agora by Magdalena Abakanowicz. The 106 headless and armless figures, frozen in walking action, each weigh 1,100 pounds and are about nine feet tall. The figures are similar but differ in detail.

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Source for details about the sculptures came mostly from  the comprehensive website of photographer Jyoti Srivastava. Her index of Chicago public art appears at


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