Sunday, July 24, 2016

Chicago's Most Famous Lions

Standing in "an attitude of defiance" are the two wonderful lion sculptures by artist Edward Kemeys.  They were a gift to the Chicago Art Institute from Mrs. Henry Field for the opening of the building in 1893.  I have a strong memory of a family trip to Chicago when I was just a little kid, seeing those lions as I passed by and knowing at that moment that I would find my way back to this building one day.  And, I did!

I have visited this powerful art museum on numerous occasions and when I had an opportunity to work in Chicago for a little over two years, I became a museum member.  But, I never stopped loving those lions.  I always made a point of entering the museum through this main entrance so that I could admire them on my way in.

The artist didn't give the two lions a name but he designated them by their poses calling the north lion "on the prowl" and the south lion "stands in attitude of defiance".

At Christmas they get decorated with huge holiday wreaths around their necks and when local sports teams are involved in playoffs or tournaments, they might end up with helmets on their heads or some other sporting accessory.

I always look forward to my next visit to the Chicago Art Institute and my encounter with these wonderful lions.


Lowell said...

These are massive and the sculptures are excellent. I would not want to tangle with either one!

Judy said...

I remember seeing them too. That first shot is lovely.

William Kendall said...

Beautiful and imposing!

Catalyst said...

Have you visited the New York Public Library lions, as well?