NORTH AND SOUTH LIONS
Grant Park, Art Institute Chicago
Writer: Tina Landau
Actor: Tracy Letts & Francis Guinan
Produced with Steppenwolf Theatre Company
This pair of regal lions serve as Chicago’s unofficial mascots. They’ve been guarding the Art Institute of Chicago for over 100 years. Plaster versions of the lions stood near the Fine Art Palace at Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. They were recast in bronze and installed in front of the Art Institute when it opened to the public the following year. The beloved animals have stood here ever since. They sport huge helmets when Chicago sports teams make it into major championships and are wreathed at Christmas. Sculptor Edward Kemeys claimed that while the South Lion is ‘attracted by something in the distance,’ the North Lion is ‘ready for a roar and a spring.’
Find out more here.
Tracy Letts and Tina Landau are ensemble members with Steppenwolf Theatre Company. For more about Steppenwolf, click here.
For more about artworks in Chicago’s parks, click here.