Friday, September 6, 2013

The Recognition Panels

The Recognition Panels, 1996
Mary Brogger
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, between 24th and 25th and 35th Streets

            Commissioned as part of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive Restoration project in Bronzeville, one of the most historically significant African-American neighborhoods in the country, the design for The Recognition Panels is based upon motifs from the relief carvings atop the VictoryMonument by Leonard Crunelle. Located at 35th Street and King Drive, Crunelle’s bronze and stone sculpture from 1927 honors the African-American soldiers who served in the military and assisted the French in World War I. Artist Mary Brogger adapted the carved pattern, consisting of a shield surrounded by an acanthus vine, and combined it with icons commemorating aspects of Bronzeville’s legacy. Working with laser-cut steel, Brogger juxtaposes the more traditional ornamentation with bright red industrial materials, making a conceptual link between the Crunelle monument 35th street and the bright yellow steel-beam construction by John Henry at the Cermak Avenue gateway.

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