Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Favorite Place

Native American in stone under a gushing fountain on the statue's pedestal.

One of the lions at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Because it was such a nice day, during the noon hour I visited one of my favorite sites in Champaign and took some photos. As an admirer of Native American heritage as well as wildlife and sculptures, I have always appreciated the bronze sculpture "Prayer for Rain", which has stood in a fountain in Champaign's West Side Park since 1899. In addition to the panther and the deer in the sculpture, there is a bronze plate on the pedestal that has a depiction of a buffalo. That, to borrow a phrase from Abraham Lincoln, is "altogether fitting and proper" since buffalo were roaming residents of Illinois long ago. Only recently did I find out that the sculptor of the statue, Edward Kemeys, also created the two stately lions that guard the entrance to the Art Institute of Chicago.

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