Anna Hyatt Huntington and Equestrian Lincoln

   Although most of the public outdoor sculpture at Columbia is located at the Morningside campus, there are also works of art installed at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in the Palisades. Measuring 14 feet in height, the bronze sculpture Equestrian Lincoln (Lincoln the Itinerant Lawyer) is installed on the lawn outside Lamont Hall. The sculpture is the work of prominent American woman sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington (1876-1973), and until March 15, 2014, you can view more of her work at The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery for the exhibition Goddess, Heroine, Beast: Anna Hyatt Huntingtons New York Sculpture, 1902-1936. Art Properties also has in its collection her sculpture of Cranes Rising, 1934, which was loaned to this exhibition.   

Hyatt Huntington designed and modeled this enormous equestrian statue in 1961 and had it cast in bronze using the lost wax process in 1965. The sculptor was an active member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Sculpture Society, and today she is best known for her dynamic animal and equestrian works. In this late work, however, Hyatt Huntington took a more pensive approach to her subject matter, choosing to depict the young President reading while his horse is grazing. The statue is meant to evoke Lincoln's lifelong commitment to learning. The work of art was a gift from Hyatt Huntington to Columbia, and it was intentionally placed on the Earth Sciences campus in memory to both her father, Alpheus Hyatt, a paleontologist and naturalist at Harvard University and M.I.T., and to her husband, Archer Milton Huntington, an active member of the American Geographical Society.

After being cast in bronze by the Modern Art Foundry on Long Island, Lincoln was installed in the orchard just south of Lamont Hall Library. It was unveiled by General Eisenhower in a ceremony held in October 1965. Davidson Taylor, then Director of the Committee on Art Properties, along with Hyatt Huntington and a committee of University officials, all agreed that the Lincoln should be installed on a low base to make it more approachable to viewers. In a letter to the artist, Taylor wrote that if "children want to play on it, well and good."

Columbia's version of the Equestrian Lincoln is one of several replicas made by the artist. The first cast was used to mark the entrance of the Illinois State Pavilion at the 1964 World's Fair, and it can now be seen in the New Salem Historic Park in New Salem, Illinois. In 1965 a second replica was sent by U.S. naval ship to Vienna as a gift from the 89-year-old Hyatt Huntington to the Austrian people after the Austrian Minister of Education reportedly admired the work at the World’s Fair. Two additional replicas can be seen in the United States today: one on Syracuse University's Environmental Science and Forestry Campus; and another on the grounds of the public library in Bethel, Connecticut.

– by Elena M. Cordova, Art Properties, Intern

Image Credit: Anna Hyatt Huntington, Equestrian Lincoln (Lincoln the Itinerant Lawyer), modeled 1961, cast 1965 by the Modern Art Foundry, New York, bronze, Gift of the artist (1965.8.1). Photographs: Lillian Vargas (top) and Roberto C. Ferrari (bottom), Art Properties, Avery Library, Columbia University.

Pan in the Past

University Archives, in the Columbia University Libraries Rare Book and Manuscript Library, recently released this archival photograph of George Grey Barnard's sculpture The Great God Pan (C00.825). As noted in a previous post, Barnard's sculpture is currently located outside Lewisohn Hall, but it was originally installed as a working fountain in a neo-Pompeiian grotto called the Grove, located in the northeast corner of the campus.

In 1916, Ralph Perry, editor of The Columbian, wrote a poem dedicated to the spirit of Pan and this sculpture, and published it in the university publication (p. 353). The title "Pan Gyrics" (instead of "lyrics") suggests the poem relates to the idea of gyration, moving rapidly in a circular pattern. It may have been intended as a team rally song and dance, especially since it appeared in the publication following an essay on football. Considering the association of the god Pan with nature and sexuality, however, the title arguably may also be a double entendre.

PAN GYRICS

To the Great God Pan

We haven't got a bull dog nor an ideal for a totem.
But yet we have a watchword and an emblem of our clan:
We don't say much about it, for it passes our expression
For the symbol of our spirit is the Great God Pan.

Yes, the big and mystic statue that has crept into our blood
With the love we bear our college–and who knows when that began?
But we feel it, and sense it with a fervor more than knowledge
When we swear, so very softly, "By the Great God Pan!"

All the bigness that is in us, all the glory that runs through us.
That is called out by "Columbia!" as we travel in her van–
And the spirit which it voices is of youth and aspiration:
Aye, may we live forever by the Great God Pan!

Mapping Public Sculpture: Morningside and Barnard

If you are planning a visit to the Morningside Campus or Barnard College, and you would like to know where the public sculpture is located, here is a map to help you. Each sculpture is identified with its own marker on the map that will give you basic information about the work of art. You can also bookmark the map for future reference by going to https://mapsengine.google.com/map/u/0/edit?mid=zzO_yMmGSiro.kPBAqqcLVfUA. If you take any photographs and would like to have them appear on this blog, please email them to us at artproperties@libraries.cul.columbia.edu.

Public Sculpture in Snow 2014

In anticipation of New York’s first snow storm of 2014, here are a few “winter white” pictures of the public sculpture at the Morningside campus.

IMAGE CREDITS:

Daniel Chester French, Alma Mater; Constantin Meunier, Le Marteleur; Jacques Lipschitz, Bellerophon Taming Pegasus, and David Bakalar, Life Force. Photographs by Eileen Barroso, Office of Publications, Columbia University.

George Grey Barnard and Pan

If you think you've seen this sculpture before but you're not sure where, then you've walked the grounds of Columbia's Morningside Heights campus.

This public outdoor sculpture is The Great God Pan (C00.825) by the American artist George Grey Barnard (1863-1938). The work shows the Greek god Pan in his usual form as half-man, half-goat, playing the pan pipes associated with him. As a fertility deity, he is often accompanied by fauns and nymphs, but here he is seen in solitude enjoying the music he plays. This sculpture was one of Barnard's first commissions upon returning from his artistic training in Paris. The Clark family commissioned the work from him in the mid-1890s for the Dakota apartment building on 72nd St. and Central Park West. The sculpture was cast in bronze by Henry-Bonnard Bronze Co., an important foundry located in New York. However, when completed, the sculpture was considered inappropriate for the Dakota, possibly because of the figure's uninhibited nudity. The sculpture was offered to the City of New York and briefly destined for Central Park, but eventually Edward Severin Clark donated it to Columbia for its newly developed Morningside campus.

In 1907 the architect Charles Follen McKim installed the sculpture as a working fountain in a neo-Pompeiian grotto in the northeast corner of campus. Over time it was moved as new construction took place on campus, and currently it is located on the lawn facing Lewisohn Hall.

Barnard's career as a sculptor continued, but he became more famous for his collection of medieval architectural fragments and sculptures, which eventually became the foundation for The Cloisters Museum & Gardens at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Image Credit: George Grey Barnard, The Great God Pan, installed 1907, bronze, Gift of Edward Severin Clark (C00.825). Photograph by Roberto C. Ferrari, Art Properties, Avery Library, Columbia University.

Welcome!

Welcome to the Public Outdoor Sculpture at Columbia blog! Walking around the Morningside Campus, students, faculty, staff, and visitors can see along brick-lined plazas, among verdant trees, and nestled in the lawns a number of large-scale figurative and abstract works in stone, bronze, and steel. These are the public sculptures of Columbia University. There are eighteen free-standing sculptures throughout the Morningside Campus, plus a number of relief plaques in various locations. There is also public sculpture at Barnard College and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. The public outdoor sculpture is overseen by Art Properties, the department responsible for all the art collections of Columbia, based in Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library. This blog is the place to find out everything you would want to know about these sculptures. Over time we will post historical and current information and images about the public outdoor sculpture. We invite your comments and feedback, and send us your pictures of the sculptures as well by emailing them to artproperties@libraries.cul.columbia.edu. We cannot promise to use every one of them, but those we do use will be made available to the public, although we will be sure to credit you for the photograph.

Image Credit: Daniel Chester French, Alma Mater, 1903, bronze, Gift of Mrs. Robert Goelet and Robert Goelet, Jr., in memory of Robert Goelet, Class of 1860 (C00.870). Photograph by Sandy Kaufman, Office of Publications, Columbia University.