I haven’t thought about our Cows on Parade for years, well, I guess I do think about it when I see one display here and there in the City. Why do a post now…well, it came up as Annette Findling’s favorite public art piece(s) in her profile on Monday, so of course I had to go into further detail.
I really can’t believe that it was 1999 that the cows paraded down Chicago streets, once again, where do the years go…. I must say I wasn’t overjoyed when I first heard about it in a Magnificent Mile Association meeting but was thrilled once I saw all the creativity of the artists works. The one outside Saks Fifth Avenue wasn’t my favorite, I felt it needed to be “more fashionable”, but, oh well!
A small sampling of the cows. Photo credit not known.
Let’s go into the story behind the “exhibition” and the Bronze Cow now residing next to the Chicago Cultural Center.
The plaque next to the cow reads ….
” In 1999 a herd of fiberglass cows united citizens, visitors, artists, businesses through a unique community based public art event. The bronze cow is a gift to all Chicagoans in gratitude for the support of the cows and other art in public places.
A gift to the city of Chicago from the Hanig family and anonymous donors.
Bronze Cow cast at Wagner Foundary, Inc., Chicago, IL. “
Depicted as reflections in the eyes of the cow are two famous Chicago landmarks, the Chicago Picasso sculpture, and the Historic Water Tower. Who knew!!!!
Photo courtesy Jyoti Srivastava.
Quote from Public Art in Chicago website:
“In 1999, a herd of fiberglass cows united citizens, visitors, artists and businesses through a unique community-based public art project. Chicago’s 1999 summer public art display was originally conceived and presented in Zurich, Switzerland in 1998. Chicago businessman Peter Hanig saw the cows in Zurich and brought the idea home. he convinced the City of Chicago to bring in cows from the Swiss artists who had created the Zurich cows. The city purchased unadorned cows and held a contest for local artists to produce designs to decorate them. A local business could opt to sponsor an artist designed cow or to purchase a blank cow for its own design.
The commemorative bronze cow located in front of the Chicago Cultural Center, was a gift of the Hanig family and anonymous donors to the people of Chicago in gratitude for their support of the cows and other public art projects.”
Needless to say the project was a HUGE success..so much so it is still being talked about today…thank you so much Peter Hanig for the vision to bring this to our City where the Stockyards were also world renowned (see artifacts from the Stockyards as well as wonderful information on the Chicago Fire at the Chicago History Museum www.chicagohistory.org) as was Mrs. O’Leary’s cow, who did not start the Chicago Fire!!!!
Margaret brought this stew to me when I was stricken with the flu a couple of years ago…I swear it was my cure!!! It is beyond delicious, serve with a tossed green salad, crusty French bread, and a full-bodied red wine.
MARGARET BUCKMAN’S VEGETABLE BEEF STEW
½ LB. BEEF STEW MEAT
¼ CUP FLOUR
1 TEASPOON SALT
2 TABLESPOON TOMATO PASTE
1 CUP BEEF BROTH
2 CUP WATER
2 CUP SHERRY (not cooking Sherry, GOOD DRINKING SHERRY!!!!)
1 CUP MATCHSTICK VEGGIES (CARROTS, ZUCCHINI, ONIONS)
4 STALKS OF ROUGHLY CHOPPED CELERY
1 LB. MUSHROOMS ROUGHLY CHOPPED
1 LB. BABY SPINACH
4-6 BUDS ROASTED GARLIC
BROWN ½ LB. BEEF STEW MEAT THAT HAS BEEN DREDGED IN FLOUR IN ¼ CUP CANOLA OIL, UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN.
ADD 1 CAN BEEF BROTH, ½ CUP SHERRY & 2 CUPS WATER TO BEEF MIXTURE. COOK ON LOW HEAT FOR 1 -1/2 HOUR OR UNTIL MEAT IS TENDER.
KEEP CHECKING AND ADDING ADDITIONAL WATER AND SHERRY TO BEEF MIXTURE, AS NEEDED. ADD CELERY TO MIXTURE.
ADD VEGETABLES, TOMATO PASTE & SALT TO MIXTURE.
ALSO ADD THE MUSHROOMS AND SPINACH ON TOP OF THE VEGETABLES.
CHECK SEASONINGS AND ADD ROASTED GARLIC BUDS BEFORE SERVING OVER PIPING HOT NOODLES.