Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Neat new guide to Chicago's Public Art - and its free!

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, with the sponsorship of the Chicago Office of Tourism, has issued a rather splendid free publication, The Chicago Public Art Guide. The 80-page publication is a treasure trove of information on everything from the Picasso Statute in Daley Plaza, to artwork in the parks, at the airports and in the neighborhoods.

If you've ever wondered where to find a Henry Moore sundial (try Sundial: Man Enters the Cosmos right by the Planetarium) or who designed the seahorses at Buckingham Fountain (Marcel Francois Loyau), you can find it all here, with lots of photographs - all color - in an easy to carry format, which includes an attached fold-out map of artworks in the Greater Loop area.

The profiles of the artworks are somewhat sanitized - the extended entry on the Haymarket memorial doesn't mention that previous memorials were blown up by 60's radicals, and the description for Milton Horn's Chicago Rising From the Lake leaves out the great story of how it was lost after the Wacker Drive parking garage for which was created was torn down, only to be found decades later in a trash dump, restored and remounted along Chicago's riverwalk. Still, this is the kind of overview that usually exists only in expensive coffee table books, and you can get it for free. I found my copy in the Visitors Center at the Chicago Cultural Center. It may or may not have been distributed to the city's other libraries - my contact at Cultural Affairs wasn't sure - but you can also call The Department of Cultural Affairs at 312/742.1156 to request a copy. It's well worth looking for.


John Hill said...

It is a great little guide. I found one at the Visitor's Center next to the Millennium bandshell.

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