January 20, 2014

1974: Marc Chagall @ Chase Tower - Exelon Plaza

Marc Chagall
"Four Seasons"
Mosaic tile
Chase Tower / Exelon Plaza
Dearborn Street, near Adams Street
Chicago, IL

Unprotected, the 1974 mosaic mural "Four Seasons," by Marc Chagall (1887-1985), did not fair well in Chicago's climate.  The piece was therefore the subject of major, successive conservation efforts in 1988 and 1996; too, seeking to limit further damage through exposure, the architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill designed a steel and glass shelter for it.  Additionally, a guardrail was placed around its base.  Landscape planters have formed a shield to the east, and south, of the plaza site.  Whether helpful for preservation, the cumulative effect of the surrounding structures has dramatically altered the experience of the artwork itself.  See Mary Ann Sullivan's images of Chagall's "Four Seasons" prior to its enclosure: http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/chagall/chagall.html

Read more:

"Chagall Art In Season Of Restoration," Phat X. Chiem, Chicago Tribune, July 14, 1996:

Above: Note relationship between canopy, guardrail, planters, and artwork, as sun strikes the piece from the west.
Image (1) September 20, 2006;
Image (2) September 20, 2006;
Copyright Paul E. Germanos.

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