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Fountain of Time - Chicago, IL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member adgorn
N 41° 47.204 W 087° 36.459
16T E 449507 N 4626276
Quick Description: Five stages of life, from infancy on the north to old-age on south are depicted in Lorado Taft's epic sculpture. The lone sentinel of Time stands across a pool of water from an enormous wave of humanity peopled with 100 figures...
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 6/29/2010 8:31:47 AM
Waymark Code: WM94ZX
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 3

Long Description:
Continued from the Smithsonian database:
"... including a central soldier on horseback surrounded by soldiers with banners, by refugees, camp-followers, lovers, youths, the aged, and even the sculptor and his assistants. The themes they represent include birth, the struggle for existence, love, family life, religion, poetry, and war.

Granite square with incised inscriptions was added at a later date for identification of sculptor and theme. Commissioned by the B. F. Ferguson Monument Fund, and the Chicago Park District. Cost $250,000. Monument commemorates the one hundredth anniversary of peace between England and the United States with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in 1814. Sculptor, Joseph Early's studio was selected to produce the monument using his newly developed technique of the steel-reinforced hollow cast concrete. The piece was cast on site and took less than a year to complete which was considerably less time than it might have taken using traditional stone carvers.

Sculpture: approx. 28 x 120 x 60 ft. including base; Father Time: approx. H. 25 ft."

The words from the incised inscriptions mentioned above:

"Fountain of Time
Lorado Taft
Sculptor

Lorado Taft was born in Elmwood, Illinois in 1860 and died in Chicago in 1936. He designed this fountain in his nearby studio at 60th Street and Ingleside Avenue. Commissioned by the Ferguson Fund it was dedicated in 1922. The sculptor left his self-portrait at the back. The figure in artist's smock, head bowed, hands clasped behind and followed by his Italian workman. A line by Austin Dobson had suggested the theme. 'Time goes you say? Ah, no. Alas time stays, we go.' Taft later wrote 'the words brought before me a picture. I saw the might crag-like figure of time... Leaning upon his staff, his chin upon his hand, and watching... The endless march of humanity.' "

From the Fountain of Time Basin Restoration Committee site:
(visit link)
"Constructed in 1922, the fountain was to be matched by a Fountain of Creation at the east end of the Midway and several other sculptures and a canal through the Midway. The backdrop for Time is the lagoons of Washington Park."

When down at the University of Illinois in Urbana, I waymarked these statues, that were intended to be part of the companion statue, never completed. See:
(visit link)
and
(visit link)


The sculpture is a contributing structure to the Washington Park United States Registered Historic District, which is a National Register of Historic Places listing.

The American Memory Photographs from the Chicago Daily News, 1902-1933 site contains a number of pictures of Taft and his work, including this of both the Fountain and his Lincoln sculpture:
(visit link)

These were taken in his studio, which is nearby and waymarked as:
(visit link)

Wikipedia has a good article as well:
(visit link)

It is wonderful that the Fountain of Time has been restored. Walk around it to find your favorite vantage point. Also, hit the Nearest Waymarks button to find lots more to visit while in this area.
TITLE: Fountain of Time

ARTIST(S): Taft, Lorado Zadoc, 1860-1936, sculptor. Shaw, Howard Van Doren, 1869-1926, architect. Joseph Early Studio, fabricator.

DATE: Commissioned 1913. Dedicated Nov. 15, 1922.

MEDIUM: Sculpture: hollow-cast concrete reinforced with steel bars, Potomac River gravel; Base and reflecting pool: concrete.

CONTROL NUMBER: IAS IL000012

Direct Link to the Individual Listing in the Smithsonian Art Inventory: [Web Link]

PHYSICAL LOCATION:
Located Washington Park, Facing the Midway Plaisance west of Cottage Grove Avenue, Chicago, Illinois


DIFFERENCES NOTED BETWEEN THE INVENTORY LISTING AND YOUR OBSERVATIONS AND RESEARCH:
none. It would improve the listing to add the inscription text.


Visit Instructions:
Please give the date of your visit, your impressions of the sculpture, and at least ONE ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPH. Add any additional information you may have, particularly any personal observations about the condition of the sculpture.
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