Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Life imitating art imitating life

A reader sent me this photo of herself nursing her baby at the Fountain of the Four Seasons. Located at Iowa State University's Memorial Union, the fountain was created in 1941 by artist Christian Petersen.

More information about the fountain (source):
Placed around a circular fountain the four seated American Indian women represent an Osage chant of thanksgiving. The four women face north, south, east and west, each demonstrating a line of the prayer: The first women is planting the seed, “Lo, I come to the tender planting.” The second bends close to the earth, “Lo, a tender shoot breaks forth.” The third holds a harvest basket of maize, “Lo, I collect the golden harvest." The forth nurses her newborn baby, “Lo, there is joy in my house.” These four sculptures are carved from bedford limestone and are placed around a circular base of terra cotta which is sculpted with a corn relief. Artist Christian Petersen took these notes during the sculpture's early stages:

Full water display symbolizes the fullness of the elements . . . arch of the sky . . . the lifegiving rains . . . the calmness of the Indians in the face of the turbulence. . . tranquil water . . . tranquility of the Indians. . . much water symbolizes elemental turbulence.


  1. That is one huge newborn!

  2. Didn't you know? Newborns always come out that size. Just ask Hollywood :)

    Look! It's a 20-pound baby covered in vaseline and cottage cheese, somehow missing its umbilical cord.

  3. Thanks for posting. I graduated from ISU and never really paid attention to this art. Young and oblivious I guess!


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