JAMES EARLE FRASER. The Discoverers ---- Right Face

Even within what appears to be the rigid symmetry of the Michigan Avenue Bridge, a Sculptor makes decisions.  Above, James Earle Fraser's "Discoverers" looks to the right -- that Guardian Angel leading the charge is headed straight toward Michigan Avenue.  Henry Hering's work (below), "The Defenders" turns in upon itself, and is "at rest" on its Bridge Tower.

The difference in depictions of the Native Americans is also at variance.  Hering's Indians attack.  Fraser's are at ease.  Docile.  The truth may be somewhere in between.

Literally.  This Colonial Dames of Ameria plaque is located on the bridge span itself.  There are two. And both are of remarkable quality.



1 comment:

  1. I think, it's equally important to consider the subject matter they were depicting

    Taking about Discovery..
    Father Marquette and Joliet had a very good relation with the Natives.. They learned their language and culture and the Natives respected them.. In fact the succss of their jounery had a lot to do with the help of Natives.

    Talking about Defence..
    Of Course Fort Dearborn was a totally different story. It was a bloody battle/massacre, which the Natives won .. [Talk about winning a battle and losing a war! But that's a different story]

    I wonder how the two sculptors would have depicted the Natives had theie subject matter been reversed... I guess Fraser would also have depicted Natives as violent [if depicting events at Fort Dearborn] and Hering depicted Natives as friendly [if depicting Marquette -Joliet Discovery]

    Though I totally agree that these two viewpoints of Natives as being violent or docile .. very much depict the range of views about the Natives..