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Adler Planetarium Zodiacal Reliefs - Chicago, IL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member adgorn
N 41° 51.978 W 087° 36.425
16T E 449617 N 4635109
Quick Description: Twelve plaques each with a figure symbolic of one of the zodiacal signs.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 3/23/2014 12:43:03 PM
Waymark Code: WMKD36
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 3

Long Description:
Each of the twelve corners of the landmark 1930s building is decorated by a bronze plaque, which represents a sign of the zodiac. These plaques were created by sculptor Alfonso Iannelli.

More on Iannelli from wikipedia:
"Alfonso Iannelli was an Italian-American sculptor, artist, and industrial designer.

Based in Chicago for most of his life, Iannelli was born in Andretta, Italy on 17 February 17 1888. He came to America in 1898. He studied to be a sculptor under Gutzon Borglum, later famous for Mount Rushmore.

From 1910 to 1915, he designed posters for the vaudeville acts appearing at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. Frank Lloyd Wright's son John saw his work, and the two became friends. John introduced Iannelli's work to his father, Frank Lloyd Wright, who invited Iannelli to work with him on his Midway Gardens project in 1914. Iannelli created several of the Midway's Sprite sculptures for Wright. But Wright took all credit for them, and the two would never collaborate again.

He also collaborated with Chicago architect Enrst Grunfeld on several Art Déco-style plaques in 1929 to 1930 for the Adler Planetarium. These contributions include the zodiac signs of astrology and depictions of the planets in their mythological forms.

Afterward, Iannelli collaborated with noted Chicago area Prairie School design architects Purcell and Elmslie, notably on the Woodbury County Courthouse, and with architect Barry Byrne for several church projects in the American Midwest, and one in Ireland. Iannelli also worked on numerous exhibitions at the 1933 Century of Progress (Chicago World's Fair).

He went on to open Iannelli Studios in Park Ridge, Illinois, in collaboration with his wife Margaret, a talented illustrator and artist in her own right. Iannelli Studios grew to become one of Chicago's most famous art studios at the time. They included more collaborators and expanded into commercial design, advertising, product design, and architectural interiors.

Among Iannelli's most famous industrial designs are the Streamline Moderne-inspired C-20 "Coffeemaster" vacuum coffeemaker and T-9 electric toaster for Sunbeam Products, which the company introduced as its flagship modern appliances in honor of the 1939 New York World's Fair. Iannelli also designed many significant interiors for churches and movie theaters, two of which remain in operation today: the Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge and the Catlow Theater in Barrington, Illinois. He also designed the large-scale Rock of Gibraltar relief on the facade of the Prudential Building (now called One Prudential Plaza) in Chicago.

He died in Chicago in 23 March 1965."

Six of the reliefs are visible from the outside: Cancer, Gemini, Taurus, Aries, Pisces and Aquarius. Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpius, Sagittarius and Capricornus are on the inside. His last name is engraved on Leo.

Learn more about America's oldest planetarium here: (visit link)

Learn more about The Iannelli Studios Heritage Center in Park Ridge, IL here: (visit link)
TITLE: Adler Planetarium Zodiacal Reliefs

ARTIST(S): Iannelli, Alfonso, 1888-1965, sculptor.

DATE: not provided, but s/b 1929/1930

MEDIUM: not provided, but s/b brass


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

Adler Planetarium, 900 East Achsah Bond Drive (now known as Solidarity Drive), Chicago, Illinois


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