3 Famous Metal Sculptures
One can find famous metal sculptures all over the world – magnificent pieces that are the result of artistic passion, innate gifting, and architectural genius. One such piece includes the 15th– century Bronze David that depicts the biblical shepherd boy posed with his foot on Goliath’s head. This masterpiece is recognized as the first unsupported, standing bronze sculpture created during the Renaissance period. Another sculpture, known worldwide, is the Statue of Liberty. Lady Liberty remains one of the most-iconic of all metal statues in the world; and she was created by placing hundreds of thin copper sheets onto a steel frame.
Three-dimensional works of art created via carving, modeling or welding qualify as sculptures; and here we’ll take a peek at three more metal sculptures that are worthy of recognition.
The Eiffel Tower
The universally-famous Eiffel Tower is located in Paris, France and was built with latticed wrought iron and was designed to be used as the entrance arch for the World’s Fair of 1889. Towering at 1,063 feet, this magnificent structure was created from more than 18,000 pieces of iron with the fabrication, from start to finish, taking a total of two years. Back in 1887, the cost for this sculpture came in at a whopping 8 million francs which would have been the equivalent of 40 million US dollars.
The Eiffel Tower accommodates an observation deck, a meeting area, a gift shop, restaurants and more. Surprisingly, when construction of the tower began, 300 artists, sculptors and architects organized a petition to have the construction halted, calling it “…a ridiculous tower…that would do nothing more than simulate a gigantic, black smokestack.” In addition to that, the original plan was to demolish the Eiffel Tower once it reached its 20th birthday, but cool heads prevailed. Today, this iconic structure draws more visitors, as a no-charge attraction, than any structure on Planet Earth!
The Chicago Picasso
If you ever find yourself in ‘The Windy City’ – aka, Chicago – you may want to visit one of Chicago’s most-famous sculptures, The Chicago Picasso, which is an unpainted, 50-foot tall, 147-ton, abstract, steel creation. In 1963, the architects of the Richard J. Dalely Center commissioned none other than Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso, to design a monumental sculpture for the Windy City. Once Picasso had his ideas in place after working feverishly for two years with sketches and various modifications, a 12-foot-tall wooden model of the Chicago Picasso was created for the famous artist’s approval before the fabrication of the huge steel version ever began.
Made of corrosive tensile steel, the Chicago Picasso was fabricated by the American Bridge Company in Gary, Indiana. The statue was unveiled in August of 1967 and was constructed to the tune of $351,959.17, to be exact. The cost was covered, primarily, by three charitable organizations: the Woods Charitable Fund, the Chauncey and Marion Deering McCormick Foundation and the Field Foundation of Illinois. The Chicago Picasso is located in Daley Plaza in the Chicago Loop.
Two more interesting facts surround the Chicago Picasso: First, Picasso was offered $100,000 for his efforts involved with the sculpture’s design and creation; but he refused the money! Secondly, even though Picasso desired that the statue serve as a free gift to the residents of Chicago, he never once explained what the sculpture was intended to represent – hence, the statue’s artistic form is entirely open to personal interpretation!
The Wall Street Bull
The arrival of the Wall Street Bull in NYC was originally shrouded in mystery. To begin with, this bronze bull measures 16 feet from nose to tail and weighs 3.5 tons. The Bedi-Makky Art Foundry in Brooklyn gets credit for helping to craft the cast-bronze bull; and the family-run foundry is known for multiple, world-famous castings including the FDNY 9/11 Memorial Wall.
As the story goes, an Italian-American artist, Arturo Di Modica – a New York resident – designed the bull and was the one responsible for having the bullish brute secretly positioned next to the New York Stock Exchange building, all without permission from NYC officials! Even before it was discovered who was responsible for having arranged a truck and crane to place the bull under the NYSE Christmas tree in the middle of the night on December 15, 1989, the bull was removed and placed in storage by city officials the next day. After much ado, the bull found a new home 5 days later at Bowling Green Park – only a few blocks from the NYSE. Before the bull could be retrieved from storage to be placed in Bowling Green Park, however, artist Arturo Di Modica had no choice but to pay the storage fee as well as the cost of having the bull removed from its unauthorized location.
Di Modica spent $350,000 of his own money to have his bull created; and his goal was to offer it as a Christmas gift to the city. Two years of work centered around the casting and the welding-together of pieces. Today, the charging bronze bull has become a mascot for Wall Street, and symbolizes strength and optimism after the 1987 stock-market collapse…and that’s no bull.