Thursday, August 22, 2013

Eagle Fountains

Eagle Fountains, 1931
Frederick Cleveland Hibbard
Columbus Plaza, Grant Park
East of South Michigan Avenue at East Congress Parkway

            Twin fountains with circular pools flank Congress Plaza and each features a bronze eagle about to take flight and grasping a fish in its talons. The sculptures were requested by the South Park Commissioners as part of their design for an impressive gateway to Grant Park and the lakefront. The work was completed in time for the 1933-34 A Century of Progress World’s Fair, held in nearby Burnham Park. Hibbard’s eagles, although highly naturalistic, also reflect the prevailing Art Deco style, with the sweeping lines of the wings emphasis on verticality.
            Frederick Cleveland Hibbard (1881-1950) studied with Lorado Taft after moving to Chicago from his native Missouri. He collaborated with his wife, Elisabeth Hazeltine, on the David Wallach Fountain in Burnham Park and his first major work in Chicago was a memorial to former mayor Carter Henry Harrison, Sr., in Union Park. During his career, Hibbard also designed a famous memorial to Mark Twain, located in Hannibal, Missouri, and a military memorial in Shiloh, Tennessee, commissioned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.  

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