June 27, 2011

Public Art Forms

A Public Art Gallery of Sorts
Art comes in all shapes and locations. This post includes murals, statues & structures streets & parks, limestone & brick wall art and  even art on trees within Lake View
on an exterior wall on the corner of Oakdale & Broadway
photo - Chicago Architecture Info-Facebook
A building wall art
2018 photos - Chris Cullen Photography
below photo - Melrose at Halsted Street
unknown source
Chicago Rainbow Pride Crosswalks-Facebook
above - rainbow crosswalks at in Boystown
2019 photo - Joel Cruz via Pictures of Chicago-Facebook
below Addison/Sheffield CVS store
2019 photo - Gregg Moreland 
via Pictures of Chicago-Facebook  
 and the before look in 2018 below
photo below - Greg R Baird
Fremont & Grace
Art Therapy for the Masses
This post explores the difference between permanent art and temporary art. The term public art in general refers to works of art that have been planned and executed with the specific intention of being sited or staged in the physical public domain, usually outside and accessible to all. In recent years public art has increasingly begun to expand in scope and application  — both into other wider and challenging areas of art-form, and also across a much broader range of what might be called our 'public realm'. Such cultural interventions have often been realized in response to creatively engaging a community's sense of 'place' or 'well-being' within society. After all, a public right to ‘non-conventional displayed’ and ‘mobile art’ should not only be enjoyed as an optional extra, but is actually one of our "basic human rights". 
Vintage Permanent Public Art 
 Goethe with Herman Hahn - 1913
Goethe Statue in Lincoln Park, 1914 - Calumet 412
This stature located on Diversey (Blvd.) Parkway near Sheridan Road acts as a northward gateway into Lake View from Lincoln Park. It is a grand example of public art that is just scattered along the lakefront and boulevards of the city. This 25 foot heroic statue pays homage to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) the famous German writer and philosopher. This sculptor was a social example of the increase German presence in Chicago as well as the community of Lake View. In 1911, the Goethe Monument Association held a competition to select a sculptor for the memorial. The committee members specified that they did not want a figurative portrait of Goethe (German and Swedish neighborhood at the time). They believed that this directive would release artists “from the trammels of costume and conventionality” and permit them “to give free flight to their imagination and enthusiasm.” The Art Institute displayed the nine models produced by the artists who had participated in the competition. 
The winning project was submitted by Herman Hahn (1868-1944), a professor and sculptor from Munich, Germany. He created a Greek god-like figure of young man with an eagle on his knee to symbolize Goethe’s “Olympian achievements.” Hahn’s design, installed in 1913, includes a low wall with a bas relief portrait of Goethe himself, as well as a quotation from his Faust, in both German and English. In 1951, the bronze statue was struck by lightning and the left foot crumbled. The statue was removed and the ankle, foot, and base were recast. According the publication Hidden History of Ravenswood & Lake View by Patrick Butler, during WWI the statue was "redone in red, white, and blue by a band of local patriots" in a dominate German neighborhood area. In 1998, a national nonprofit organization entitled 'Save Outdoor Sculpture!' sponsored the conservation of the enormous bronze sculpture. A couple of years later, the park district also restored the sculpture’s surrounding landscape environment.
another gateway to Lake View
located just north of Diversey Harbor east of LSD
1910 photo - Art Institute of Chicago
Chuckman Collection - 1954
1929 photo - Chicago History Museum
And another gateway into the neighborhood...    
The Alarm
located between Oakdale and Wellington
1905-10 photo - Art Institute of Chicago

City of Chicago's Temporary Art

The Chicagoan 
 Lake View's Own Temporary Art 
that was once located on Elaine Place what was thought by the community residents to be permanent but was in fact just not.
The Story by WBEZ
before the cement block platform 1981
photo - University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign
1981 photo - William Brubaker Collection 
via University of Illinois
After a long history, at least since 1978, on Elaine Place there were
these metal objects that were removed from the street in 2012. The artist John Kearney, based in both in Chicago and Provincetown, was the artist who created figurative sculptures, often of animals, using multiple, found metal objects, specifically bumpers from cars.  
The removal October 11, 2012
- Joe E. Dale contributor - Facebook
According to Boystown/Facebook the Elaine Place apartment buildings were sold to Chicago Apartment Finders. The statues could not be sold with the property under a initial agreement with the artist and initial property owner therefore once sold the sculptures were removed and returned to the artist. The removal causes a public outcry not only the residents on Elaine Place but the entire Lake View community.
Separation Issues
2012 photo - Lake View Patch
a miniature made of aluminum 
the (real) human form 
photo by Boris Geissler Chicago Phoenix/Facebook
every couple years there would be a replacement on both cement blocks that once displayed the giraffes on both sides of the street
These sculptures were meant to be only temporary
A collaboration by Lincoln Park citizen associations and later Lake View in 2008. This public art venture was first established in 2001 to be a statement of civic/corporate/community pride based on local neighborhood participation. This continuous & yearly exhibit was conceived to enrich the neighborhood landscape by publicly exhibiting the works of art by area sculptors along the streets & byways of our community. 
I only picked a sample per year of works of art that were 
only located in Lake View
St. Luke's Parish on Belmont
Waveland & Wilton
Clark & Lincoln
Waveland & Wilton
Sheridan Road & Sheridan Road
Lincoln & School Street
Broadway & Roscoe Street
3505 Southport Avenue
Diversey & inner Lake Shore Drive
Grace & Southport - Blaine School
855 W Aldine
3757 N Clark Street
3108 Broadway
1500 W Belmont Avenue
100 East Diversey Parkway
just north of Diversey Harbor 
east of the Signal of Peace Monument
*I suspect this one will be permanent*

3456 Elaine Place
3400 Elaine Place
921 W Barry Avenue
3423 N Southport Avenue
3840 N Southport Avenue
3400 Elaine Place
3620 N Halsted Street
 and a zoomed view below

3325 N Halsted Street
3131 N Clark Street
Falling Man
3401 N Elaine Place
The Spiral
3400 N Elaine Pl
3456 N Elaine Place
919 W Barry Avenue
Prairie Tamer
3131 N Clark Street
3333 N Halsted Street
3840 N Southport Avenue
3400 N Elaine Place
The Angel of Death
3310 N Broadway
this structure must have been installed prior to the pandemic
3801 Fremont Avenue
3401 Elaine Place
CTA Art within Lake View
Art of all styles have become a fixture along the renovated 
CTA stations in the city. Here are few in Lake View
The Belmont Bridge Underpass
view more photos - Tom Tunney 44th ward
2012 photo - SunTimes
photo - Chicago Public Art Group

 photos - Chicago Public Art Group
photos below - Garry Albrecht
(a Facebook album)
Like the caveman before them, artists carved their works of art on limestone blocks that once graced the shores of Lake Michigan. Some graffiti, some not. Thanks to a fellow Chicagoan these countless works of art will not be forgotten. 
View my Facebook album called 'Lost Art on Limestone' 
with this link for the full story.
The Post Office Mural 
There was countless programs in place during the 1930's to revive the economy and put folks back to work to feed their families - the WPA was one of them. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was instituted by presidential executive order under the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of April 1935, to generate public jobs for the unemployed. The WPA was restructured in 1939 when it was assigned to the Federal Works Agency. By 1936 over 3.4 million people were employed on various WPA programs. Administered by Harry Hopkins and furnished with an original congressional allocation of $4.8 billion, the WPA made work accessible to the unemployed on an unparalleled scale by disbursing funds for an extensive array of programs. One of those stations was in Lake View located on Irving Park Road and Clark Street.
Some Background
1930's image - Kids Britannica
Under the direction of art critic and curator Holger Cahill, the Federal Art Project operated in all 48 states and instituted divisions for easel painting, murals, sculpture, posters, prints and drawings.The Federal Art Project division of the WPA tended to favor figurative art rather than abstract art; a trend that resulted in many of the century's greatest abstract painters (Rothko, Pollock, Krasner, etc.) creating rather uncharacteristic art. This 1940 article below reflects a negative view of this part of the WPA program. 
(click for enlargement)
Painter and printmaker Harry Sternberg was employed by the Work Projects Administration (WPA) in late 1930’s to create a piece of art for a Lake View Branch of the Chicago Post Office in located on Irving Park Road near Sheffield. 
text - excerpt from 1982 Tempo article
 image - from Chicago Tribune
text below - Guide to Chicago Murals 2001
In 2000, a resident of Chicago, Dr. David Baldwin, began a project to restore the original work of art that were barely still visible but let alone poorly maintained. In 2003, after a three year restoration project his work revealed a mural the symbolized art of its’ day but and hallmarked the importance of art and need for employment during the Great Depression.
photo - Jane Rosenbluth Baldwin
High resolution photo, taken in sections
Follow the conversion in Forgotten Chicago on Facebook
An example of one of the many threads
Jane Rosenbluth Baldwin: My husband founded the Friends of the Lake View Post Office Mural, raised the money for the restoration, hired the team that did such a wonderful job on the mural, and arranged the display in the post office lobby. It was a labor of love, and many generous people helped. 
photos below by Alex Bean 
via Forgotten Chicago Discussion Group
a sectional view:
In 2010, the Chicago Branch of the Lake View Post Office was renamed after a legendary folk singer Steve Goodman
The Nettelhorst School
Another location of depression art is located at Nettelhorst Elementary in Lake View that by Rudolph Weisenborn 1936
'Horses from Children's Literature'
background on the art
 'Louis Nettelhorst School Elementary Alumni'-Facebook
Inside the kindergarden classroom
image - Michael Mcloughlin 
via Louis Nettelhorst Elementary School Alumni 
'Contemporary Chicago'
'Louis Nettelhorst School Elementary Alumni'-Facebook
2014 photo - Michael McLoughlin via
 'Louis Nettelhorst School Elementary Alumni'- Facebook
and adding there own along the way
 in the original building, a 21st century photo 
Louis Nettelhorst School Elementary Alumni-Facebook
entrance to the lunch room
Louis Nettelhorst School Elementary Alumni'-Facebook
This 2017 project is called 'Endless'
photos & text from DNAinfo
'The artist was Samantha Rausch. The art piece is titled "Endless." According to Rausch, it's meant to blend different concepts of time and life with the image of a dead tree.'
located between Stratford Place & Hawthorne Place/LSD
One of the largest collection of WPA murals is located in 
Lane Tech High School located in the community of 
North Central. Here are some samples:
Four vertical panels mounted between the exterior doors of the Lane Tech auditorium describe 
the teaching of the humanities

and more was added in 2016

Post Notes:
Also, the Chicago Conservation Center works to restore WPA murals in the schools where the artwork first took root during the Depression Era. View the other Chicago elevated stations with their own artworksView more public art in Chicago via Flickr.

These posts are exclusively used for educational purposes. I do not wish to gain monetary profit from this blog nor should anyone else without permission for the original source - thanks!

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