Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Gold Coast


Gold Coast, 1954
Bernard J. (Tony) Rosenthal
1000 Lake Shore Drive Building

            This 20-foot high bronze sculpture is located outside a residential building at the southern edge of the Near North side neighborhood known as the “Gold Coast,” an historic residential district chosen by wealthy and influential Chicagoans, such as Potter Palmer and James Charnley, during the late 19th century. It was considered the nation’s second-most affluent neighborhood (behind on Manhattan’s Upper East Side) during the 1980s. 
          Sculptor Tony Rosenthal played with the area’s nickname by referencing the West African Gold Coast through stylized figures playing drums and carrying water buckets on their heads. The work was crafted from shapes cut from quarter-inch thick sheets of bronze that were welded together and covered with molten bronze. Rosenthal would later be associated with abstract monumental public sculptures, such as his Alamo from 1967, a large black cube balanced upon one of its corners located in Astor Plaza in New York City.
            

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