The Victorious Charge
The Victorious Charge is a public artwork by American artist John S. Conway located on the Court of Honor on West Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Milwaukee, United States; the 1898 bronze sculpture sits on a 20' square granite pedestal. Conway's sculpture is the most important nineteenth century Civil War monument in Wisconsin. Four Union soldiers cast in bronze are caught in action. One of the soldiers has fallen and supports himself on his left arm, while grasping a piece of the flag staff in his right hand. A young private holds the flag high. An officer with a pistol in one hand and a drawn sword in the other continues forward, while another private leans forward holding a bayonet. There are various inscriptions on the work; the front of the base reads:TO. THOSE. WHO. FOUGHT. IN. THE. WAR. FOR. THE. UNION. 1861-1865 ERECTED.1898. The front lower left side of the sculpture reads JOHN S. CONWAY SCULPTOR and the back lower right reads FOND CRESCENZI ROMA 1898. Before The Victorious Charge, the standard for Civil War monuments was an idealized portrait of a soldier or an equestrian portrait of an officer.
Conway revolutionized the Civil War memorial by depicting a realistic looking group of soldiers in action. His sculpture exudes movement, faithfully capturing the intensity and horrors of battle. Thirteen years passed from the moment that Alexander Mitchell agreed to finance a Civil War monument for the city of Milwaukee and the moment when Conway's sculpture was dedicated. Mitchell had not yet decided on a design for the monument when he died in 1887, his son, US senator John Mitchell, agreed to continue financing the project with the help of the Soldier's Memorial Committee. They decided on a design. Lydia Ely Hewitt, John S. Conway's friend, stepped in and devised different ways to raise the $30,000 necessary to erect the monument, she and other women held various fund-raising events including Miss Ely's famous autograph book. As a final effort, she collected autographs from "famous Americans in government, science and literature and compiled them into a giant autograph book two feet wide and two feet thick, with over 2,000 signatures, with Conway's The Victorious Charge sketched on the title page.
When the book was completed, Ely auctioned the single volume to Captain Frederick Pabst, the city's most prominent brewer, to complete the fundraising." Conway was thus able to complete his sculpture, which he had cast in bronze by the Crescenzi Foundry in Rome and sent across the Atlantic to Milwaukee. The dedication of The Victorious Charge took place on June 28, 1898, coinciding with a four-day carnival celebrating the Golden Jubilee of Wisconsin's entry into the Union. Tens of thousands of visitors came to Milwaukee for the events. A band played "Marching Through Georgia" as Lydia Ely unveiled the sculpture, Mayor David S. Rose accepted the monument on behalf of the city. Although the sculpture was badly rusted, a complete restoration was completed in September 2003. Other John S. Conway works in Milwaukee: Agriculture and the Industries Bring Their Tribute to Milwaukee
Pedestrian Drama is a site-specific public art work by American artist Janet Zweig, located on the east end of Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The artwork consists of a series of mechanical flaps, like signage associated with public transportation, that present animated narratives; the mechanical flap displays are installed on five kiosks on existing light poles. The $300,000 work was commissioned by the City of Milwaukee and Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Zweig collaborated with 200 local actors, film makers, fabricators throughout the process of creating the work; the site of Pedestrian Drama, near Northwestern Mutual, connects Milwaukee's lakefront with downtown. Zweig is based in Brooklyn, she is a public artist. Pedestrian Drama is her first art commission in Milwaukee. 7:11AM 11.20.1979 79°55'W 40°27'N
Gertie the Duck
Gertie the Duck is an icon of Milwaukee, Wisconsin history and the subject of a 4-foot tall bronze sculpture by American artist Gwendolyn Gillen. It was installed on the Wisconsin Avenue bridge in September 1997; the story of her heroic efforts to hatch six ducklings became an inspiration for many war-weary Americans near the end of World War II. Gertie's story unfolded as a daily serial in the local newspaper for 37 days, captivating the residents of Milwaukee, the state and the country. Gertie's story began in April 1945 when Milwaukee Journal outdoor writer Gordon MacQuarrie reported that a mallard duck was nesting on a wood piling under the Wisconsin Avenue bridge. A total of nine eggs were laid and the duck kept vigil atop her nest despite throngs of visitors and motorists stopping on the bridge daily to check the progress of the expectant mother. Mother's Day cards began arriving for the mallard, the Boy Scouts formed a Gertie Patrol and a Wisconsin Humane Society officer was stationed to watch the brood as six of the nine eggs produced chicks.
Public interest continued to swell. Gertie and her nest were photographed by the Journal and local rival Milwaukee Sentinel, featured in Life Magazine and had a front-page story in the United Kingdom's Daily Express. Readers Digest ran a story on Gertie entitled "The Duck That Made Milwaukee Famous". Despite flooding and fire on some nearby pilings, five ducklings and Gertie survived the ordeal and were put on public display in the nearby Gimbels department store windows, where more than 2 million visitors peered in to see the famous feathered family; the ducks were relocated to the Juneau Park lagoon on Milwaukee's lakefront. The first book based on Gertie's story was "The Story of'Gertie'", published by the Journal in July 1945 and based on its daily coverage; the book sold out three printings before being re-printed by New York's Rinehart & Co. in 1946. That same year, Milwaukee toymaker Earl F. Wendt produced a wooden toy duck named for the famous mallard. In 1959, Nicholas P. Georgiady and Louis G. Romano, two Milwaukee-area teachers, wrote a children's book titled "Gertie the Duck".
The book was reissued in 1988 after selling more than 800,000 copies and translated into six languages. Gertie's story was told in an episode of GE True in 1963 entitled "Gertie the Great", featuring Jan Shepard as a reporter assigned to cover the hatching eggs. Gertie the Duck is a 4-foot bronze sculpture of the mallard duck created by sculptor Gwendolyn Gillen; the original cost of the sculpture was $15,000, it was given to the city by the Eppstein Uhen Architects firm and installed in September 1997. It stands on the northwest side of the Wisconsin Avenue bridge over the Milwaukee River in downtown Milwaukee; the sculpture is part of the art displays called RiverSculpture! RiverSplash.com Gertie the Duck: Symbol of Hope
Gambrinus is a legendary European culture hero celebrated as an icon of beer, brewing and joie de vivre. Traditional songs and stories describe him as a king, duke, or count of Flanders and Brabant. Typical representations in the visual arts depict him as a rotund, bearded duke or king, holding a tankard or mug, sometimes with a keg nearby. Gambrinus is sometimes erroneously called a patron saint, but he is neither a saint nor a tutelary deity, it is possible his persona was conflated with traditional medieval saints associated with beermaking, like Arnold of Soissons. In one legendary tradition, he is beer's envoy. Although legend attributes to him no special powers to bless brews or to make crops grow, tellers of old tall tales are happy to adapt them to fit Gambrinus. Gambrinus stories use folklore motifs common to European folktales, such as the trial by ordeal; some imagine Gambrinus as a man. Among the personages theorised to be the basis for the Gambrinus character are the ancient king Gampar, John the Fearless and John I, Duke of Brabant.
The source of the legend of Gambrinus is uncertain. An early written account, by German historian Johannes Aventinus, identifies Gambrinus with Gambrivius, a mythical Germanic king about whom little is known. Two other men purported to have inspired the creation of Gambrinus are John I, Duke of Brabant, John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy - both expounded upon below. In his magnum opus Annals of Bavaria, German historian Johannes Aventinus wrote that Gambrinus is based on a mythical Germanic king called Gambrivius, or Gampar, Aventinus says, learned brewing from Osiris and Isis. In 1517, William IV, Duke of Bavaria had made Aventinus the official historiographer of his dukedom. Aventinus finished composing the history in 1523. However, it is a work that blends history with myth and legend. European anecdote credits Gambrinus with the invention of beer. Aventinus attempted to reconcile this account with much older stories attributing its origin to Osiris' agricultural teachings. In Aventinus' chronicle, Gambrivius was the paramour of Osiris' sister, Isis.
It was by this association, he says. Aventinus' account of Gambrivius contributed to the reverence for Osiris and Isis held by 17th-century European scholars. Perceiving Osiris and Isis as "culture bearers" enabled a willingness to see historical connections where there were none; the 59th stanza of the English drinking ode "The Ex-ale-tation of Ale" evidences a British appropriation of the myth: To the praise of Gambrivius, that good British kingThat devis'd for the nation by the Welshmen's taleSeventeen hundred years before Christ did springThe happy invention of a pot of good ale. According to Aventinus, Gambrivius is a seventh-generation descendant of the Biblical patriarch Noah. By incorporating earlier myths recorded by Tacitus, Aventinus reckoned that Gambrivius was the fifth son of Marso, the great-grandson of Tuisto, the giant or godly ancestor of the Germanic peoples whom Tacitus mentions in Germania. Tacitus alludes to an earlier source who lists tribes called the Gambrivii and the Marsi among the peoples descended from Tuisto: the offspring or subjects of Gambrivius and Marsus, respectively.
Gampar claims new lands east of the Rhine, including Flanders and Brabant, founds the towns of Cambrai and Hamburg. The names of both these towns were theorized to be cognates of Gambrivius, as one of Hamburg's ancient Latin names was alleged to be Gambrivium. One of Aventinus' sources was Officina, an encyclopedia compiled by French scholar Jean Tixier de Ravisi; this work purported that Gambrivius were giants descended from Noah. But Jean Tixier had only catalogued and reported a conjecture made in the name of the Hellenistic-era historian Berossus, by the fraudster Annio da Viterbo, who had used the same hypothesis to postulate an ancestry for the Gauls; some Francophone and Germanophone scholars reject the others' claim to Gambrinus as an appropriation of one of their own cultural heroes. Aventinus' account did not just establish a claim to Gambrivius, but to a glorious ancestry and heritage; the myths reimagined Gambrivius as a catalyst for the enlargement of the territory of a Germanic people, made him a divine conduit into Germania for the Egyptians' ancient beer lore.
In 1543, Hans Guldenmundt published a series of 12 broadside prints of "ancestors and early kings of the Germans". The series includes Tuiscon and Gambrivius and other kings historical and mythological; the heading for Gambrivius translates as "Gampar, King of Brabant and Flanders". Aventinus' contemporary Burkard Waldis wrote a descriptive verse for each of the 12 kings in the series; the verses for Gampar and Tuiscon recapitulate. John I was well-liked, admired, a champion jouster, his dukedom, the Duchy of Brabant, was a wealthy, beer-producing jurisdiction that encompassed Brussels. The brewers' guild in Brussels may have made the Duke an honorary member and hung his portrait in their meeting hall. In his 1874 monograph on Gambrinus, Victor Coremans of Brussels reported that references to Brabant and Flanders in Gambrinus legends seemed to be recent. However, he reports a similarity between the likeness of John I on his tomb and the faces in some illustrations of Gambrinus. John's name, has a hypothetical connection to Gambrinus
Family is a public artwork by American artist Helaine Blumenfeld located on the Henry Reuss Federal Plaza, in downtown Milwaukee, United States. The sculpture is made from Norwegian blue granite, it consists of five forms, with the largest form measuring 89 x 58 x 27 inches. Family was installed in the Henry Reuss Federal Plaza in 1983; the granite sculpture was commissioned to Helaine Blumenfeld for the plaza in front of the in-construction Henry S. Russ Federal building; the artwork consists of five abstract biomorphic blue granite forms. The sculptures are movable and the public is encouraged to climb and rearrange the works periodically. Family is tied to the building it sits in front of; the building was the brainchild of US House member Henry S. Reuss, he believed it would encourage the development of downtown Milwaukee, as well as group thirty federal agencies under one roof. When Reuss made the plans for the new building public, he announced that there would be no federal money given for artwork, explaining that an anonymous donor had offered to donate an outdoor sculpture.
Blumenfeld was thus commissioned to create Family in the late 1970s. She selected 68 tons of Norwegian blue granite, which she had shipped to Italy. Blumenfeld and four assistants proceeded to chisel the five forms. "Family is the first of several of Blumenfeld's multi-component outdoor sculptures. Although her works are abstract, the forms are organic and are intended to symbolize human figures and their relationships. Like members of a family, each of the humanoid figures relates to the others, but retains its separate identity." As the viewer moves the parts, the sculpture changes. Blumenfeld refers to this evolving relationship stating, "One is sometimes stronger, one is weaker. Looking at a family you see the different values placed on each member at different times. I'm trying to show the dynamic tension in a relationship." The work was funded by two anonymous donors. Helaine Blumenfeld was born in New York in 1942, she obtained a PhD in philosophy from Columbia University before moving to Paris to work as an assistant in the Cubist sculptor's Ossip Zadkine's studio.
She decided to begin sculpting after having interesting vivid dreams and realizing that words were not enough to express what she experienced. Her early works concentrated in transforming a figurative form into a symbolic meaning, she began exploring the relationship between more than one form. Blumenfeld believes that sculpture is not about narrative, but is instead centered on experience and process, having the potential to excite the viewer's imagination, she develops her ideas in clay to get a sense of the figure's form before translating them to their final materials. "Blumenfeld's daily practice remains grounded in the working of raw materials, a physical relationship that provides a channel for her imagination. She thrives in the solitary confines of her studio where she can think, dream and take risks without constraint." The artist relocated to Cambridge, England in 1976. She splits her time between Cambridge and her workshop in Pietrasanta, Italy. Helaine Blumenfeld category in Commons
Walkways Through the Wall
Walkways Through the Wall is a public artwork by American artist Vito Acconci located at the Wisconsin Center, near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the United States. Walkways Through the Wall is a sculpture, made for the Wisconsin Center, that intertwines public and private space. Created in 1998 by Vito Acconci, a collaborating team of architects, Walkways Through the Wall is intended to enhance the idea of the Airlines Center as being seen as one continuous plaza; the dimensions are 14.5' X 68' X 204', the sculpture stretches from outside the building, through its interior, out the other side. The materials used are: Colored Concrete, Standard Gray Concrete and Light-box floor; the sculpture passes through the walls of the building as if they aren't there, making a continuous path from exterior to exterior. Walkways Through the Wall is an example of Acconci's focus on landscape design. According to Wisconsin policy, 1% of the Midwest Airlines Center had to be spent on art. Instead of creating a piece of sculpture for the outside of the building, Acconci integrated art into the building's design.
Mark A. Wallace compares the building's concrete floor to taffy that slips in and out of the building, going through windows and the building's facade."From the outside, Acconci extends the natural concrete as pathways through the wall and into the building, bisecting the terra-cotta concourse. Each path heads in a different direction and ends with a unique purpose. In two cases, the path forms a bench at the street level. In another it cascades downward before ending as a sitting area on the level below. In still another, it leads to a stairway connecting the two levels. Light boxes mark the turns in the walkways where the concrete material ceases to exist, illuminating both the interior and exterior concourses." Special care had to be taken in the construction. For example, the benches had to be cast 6 inches thick, so as to be able to support their own weight and that of pedestrians; the resulting space is playful, yet Acconci envisioned serious objectives. The artist aimed to re-people the public space, encourage them to think about how these spaces are shaped.
He achieved this by creating a continuous plaza. "Acconci and his colleagues designed their "interactive art installation" with the hope that visitors to the Midwest Airlines Center will see materials defying physical properties and reflect on their own potential.'I hope they would laugh and think that something is doing what it wasn't supposed to do,' explains Acconci,'So if the material does what it is not supposed to do, maybe I, a person, can do what I am not supposed to do." This sculpture has a permanent place at the Wisconsin Center
Woodland Indian and Whistling Swans
Woodland Indian and Whistling Swans is a bronze sculpture created by American sculptor Marshall Fredericks in 1963. It is located at the Milwaukee Public Museum at 800 West Wells Street, Wisconsin; the Woodland Indian and Whistling Swans sculpture adorns the south façade of the Milwaukee Public Museum spanning 40 ft x 28 ft x 3 ft. The Native American Indian figure kneels with his arms outstretched, leading the viewers' eye to the prominent flock of four swans above. Architect Theodore Eschweiler commissioned the artist, Marshall Fredericks, to design a sculpture for the museum's new building; the sculpture cost spans the building's facade from the second to fourth floors. A nearby plaque reads: The Milwaukee Public Museum is one of the leading museums of human and natural history as well as the first museum to create full-sized dioramas, it shared a space with Milwaukee Public Library. In 1950 the architectural firm Eschweiler and Eschweiler proposed designs for a new building to house the museum.
The building was built in the 1960s when Stephan Borhegyi museum director, led the effort to finish the project and incorporate advanced museum theories to the interior spaces. The building's architects commissioned Marshall Fredericks to create a sculpture for the museum's entrance facade. Woodland Indian and Whistling Swans symbolizes the Great Lakes area. "A Woodland Indian, ready to release an arrow from his bow, pauses in awe before the beauty of nature as seen in the flight of swans." Although Fredericks was paid $50,000 for the artwork, the mounting of the work was problematic because of the sculpture's weight and size. The city had to negotiate with contractors before the sculpture was installed; the bronze sculpture has served the museum well. During the museum's centennial in 1983, the image was selected to be reproduced as the celebration logo. Today it continues to be the identifying image of the museum representing the focus of the museum on both human and natural history. Marshall Fredericks was an American sculptor born in Rock Island, Illinois in 1908.
He graduated from the Cleveland School of Art in 1930. Fredericks taught at the Cranbrook and Kingswood School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan for ten years until joining the armed forces in 1942. Following World War II he created numerous pieces of commissioned artwork, including sculptures, bronze portraits and various memorials and fountains. Much of his work had a humanist nature, which reflected the artist's personality, it is administered by Milwaukee County, Department of Parks and Culture, 9480 West Watertown Plank Road, Wisconsin 53226. The work is well maintained, although there is some green patina