Jacob and the Angel II, 1961
Courtyard, Hyde Park Shopping Center
East 55th Street and Lake Park
In the passage from Genesis that has inspired this work, Jacob is said to be “alone” but wrestles with a man until daybreak. Some interpret the story as indicating that Jacob wrestling with God, while artist Paul Granlund (1925-2003) implies that the struggle is an internal one. His compact bronze figure is perched upon the toes of one of his feet, while the other leg resembles that of a cloven hoofed animal. Speaking about his work, Granlund stated “I’m always trying to say two things at once.” Balanced on an iron pipe in the center of a basin, his Jacob is displayed within a small courtyard protected by a canopy of tree branches.
Paul Granlund was a prolific public sculptor, most notably in his native Minnesota. After receiving his M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy in Michigan, he served on the faculty of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design from 1959-1971 and then became sculptor-in-residence at his alma mater Gustavus Adolphus, where he remained until his retirement in 1996.