Chicago Botanic Garden

ENJOY YOUR VISIT — Sculpture

Sculpture at the Garden

If you are interested in supporting the Garden's sculpture program, please contact the Development Department at (847) 835-8374.

Educational materials are supported in part by a generous grant from the Helen V. Froehlich Foundation. In addition to the Gallery at the Garden schedule, selections from In Search of Paradise: Centuries of Great Garden Design are on view in the Great Hall except during select special events.

SCULPTURE: Birds on Eggs

Birds on Eggs
Sylvia Shaw Judson
Cast aluminum, 1959
Fruit and Vegetable Garden
A gift from Mrs. Leonard S. Davidow

SCULPTURE: Blue Heron

Blue Heron
Gregory Glasson
Bronze, 1981
Home Landscape Gardens
A gift from Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Bent

SCULPTURE: Boy Gardener

Boy Gardener
Margot McMahon
Bronze, 1986
Rose Garden
A gift from Mr. Bruce Krasberg

SCULPTURE: Canada Geese

Canada Geese
William Turner, American (b. 1935)
David Turner, American (b. 1962)
Bronze, 1988
Naturalistic Garden
A gift from Gordon Bent and family and friends

The moment depicted by nature artists William and David Turner is a familiar one. Each bird’s pose is seen daily at sunset as flocks of geese settle in for the evening on the lakes.

SCULPTURE: Caricia

Caricia
Olivier Sequin, French (b. 1945)
Black lava stone, 1986
Landscape Gardens
A gift from Mr. and Mrs. John Stetson

Caricia is the Spanish word for caress. This name may refer to the smooth surface or to the figurative aspect of the shape. The sculpture also calls to mind the mysterious Easter Island statues or the simplified forms of the artist Jean Arp.

The sculpture is placed as a sentinel along the path outside the Bulb Garden. Together, the curving pathway and the surrounding shrubs at first conceal, but then reveal, the sculpture as visitors approach.

SCULPTURE: Carolus Linnaeus

Carolus Linnaeus
Robert Berks, American (b. 1922)
Bronze, 1982
Heritage Garden
A gift from Mrs. Arthur C. Nielsen, Sr.

This figure of Swedish physician Linnaeus (1701-1778) looms large in the history of science and is appropriately placed in the Heritage Garden. Linnaeus established binomial nomenclature, the international system of naming plants and animals that is still in use today.

He is shown reaching eagerly toward the plants in his path with a collector’s enthusiasm. The prominent bird in the sculpture — a golden plover, which can fly for thousands of miles — refers to the many students of Linnaeus who traveled the globe collecting plants for him to name.

SCULPTURE: Composition in Stainless Steel #1

Composition in Stainless Steel #1
Gidon Graetz, Israeli (b. 1929)
Stainless steel, 1985
Education Building
A gift from Mr. and Mrs. Robert Sternberg

Located in the midst of the All-America Rose Selections, this sculpture reflects brilliant flashes of red, yellow, pink and white roses from springtime until late autumn. During the winter, its curving, polished surface mirrors a setting of white snow, blue sky and brown earth. The shape of the work brings to mind the exuberance of plant breeders who develop the award-winning roses showcased here. It establishes a central focus, inviting visitors to enter the garden and look closely.

SCULPTURE: Goose

Goose
William Turner
Bronze, 1971
Sensory Garden
A gift from Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Bent

SCULPTURE: Guardian

Guardian
Simon Verity, English (b. 1945)
Minnesota limestone, Arizona jasper, Arkansas quartz
and Portuguese copper, 1992
English Walled Garden
A gift in memory of Catherine Galitzine Campbell

The Guardian stands as a folly at the entrance to the English Walled Garden. It is located on the axis that links the North Lake with the Great Basin. Constructed of semiprecious stones and minerals, the sculpture represents the ancient elements of earth, air, fire and water.

Simon Verity carved stone statuary for the Portal of Paradise on St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York from 1988 to 1997. His work appears in many English gardens, including that of the Prince of Wales.

SCULPTURE: Mermaid

Merchild
Sylvia Shaw Judson, United States (1897–1978)
Bronze, 1925
North Gallery, Joseph Regenstein Jr. School (seasonal)
A gift from Mrs. Owen Barton Jones

A familiar figure of myth and fairy tale, she is intently trying to pry open the oyster shell she is holding, perhaps hoping to find a pearl inside.

Mrs. Judson's own daughter, Alice, posed for this imaginative work when she was just three years old.

SCULPTURE: Naughty Faun

Naughty Faun
Sylvia Shaw Judson, United States (1897–1978)
Bedford stone, 1923
Home Landscape Gardens
A gift from Mrs. Albert Farwell

A mischievous creature of ancient Greek mythology, a faun is half boy, half goat. Grape leaves and clusters of grapes adorn his head as he glances around furtively to see if anyone saw him stealing the oranges he is clutching.

SCULPTURE: Otter Girl

Otter Girl
Gerry Lewis-Amendola
Lead, 1966
Home Landscape Gardens
A gift from friends of Gertrude Kuh

SCULPTURE: Preening Heron

Preening Heron
W.J. Frey
Copper, 1984
Home Landscape Gardens
A gift from the family of Dr. and Mrs. James H. Mason

SCULPTURE: Pumpkin

Pumpkin
Tony Tasset, American (b. 1960)
Bronze, paint, 1998
Fruit & Vegetable Garden
A gift from The Guild of the Chicago Botanic Garden

Placed on a pedestal at the center of the Fruit and Vegetable Garden, this witty sculpture elevates a popular American icon to high art. Pumpkin is trompe l’oeil art—an object rendered to mimic what it is not. While it appears real, even larger than life, the sculpture was actually cast in bronze by the artist from a champion pumpkin purchased from the 1998 Lake County Pumpkin Weigh-Off.

SCULPTURE: Seven Birds

Seven Birds
Gregory Glasson
Bronze, 1983
Naturalistic Gardens
A gift from Mr. and Mrs. Edwin S. Brown

SCULPTURE: Sitting Bear

Sitting Bear
G.E. Olsen
Tennessee Marble, 1986
Home Landscape Gardens
A gift in memory of Stephen Wynne

SCULPTURE: Sounding Sculpture

Sounding Sculpture
Harry Bertoia, American (1915-1979)
Beryllium bronze, 1985
Rose Garden
A gift from friends of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph A. Bard, Jr.

Sounding Sculpture makes us aware of the contribution that gentle sound makes to a garden setting. Placed between the Rose Garden and the Linden Allée, the sculpture’s slender rodsof bronze create musical sounds when activated by the wind. Their subtle vibrations suggest wheat fields swaying in the breeze or the melodious harps of antiquity.

SCULPTURE: The Sower

The Sower
Albin Polasek, American (1879-1965)
Black bronze, 1915
The Esplanade
A gift from the Art Institute of Chicago

At seven feet tall, this classic male figure captivates the viewer with its height, strong gaze and form.

The Sower celebrates the Garden's historic relationship with the Art Institute while acknowledging the Garden's dedication to spreading the seeds of learning about plants and the natural world.

SCULPTURE: Sundial

Sundial
Joseph Burlini
Aluminum, Paint, 1987
Plant Evaluation Gardens
A gift from Nancy Zadek Cohrs

SCULPTURE: Untitled

Untitled
Martin Puryear, American (b. 1941)
Stainless steel, 1998
Carnelian granite, 1998
Lakeside Gardens
A gift from Ernest P. Waud, III

This pair of benches—one stainless steel, the other pink granite—can be enjoyed both visually as sculptures and as inviting places to rest. From this site, visitors can view an extended panorama from the Japanese Garden to Evening Island to the Great Basin.

The conical shape has intrigued sculptor Martin Puryear throughout his career. Suggestive of a yurt, the temporary shelter used by the semi-nomadic people the artist observed in central Asia, it brings to mind the notion of impermanence. By creating his cone-shaped sculptures out of durable materials such as stone and steel, Puryear sets up a lively dialogue between the inevitability of change and the dream of permanence.