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Explore Philadelphia’s Public Art Through Google Street View

This initiative makes many of Philadelphia’s parks, pathways, and public artworks even easier to explore

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and Fairmount Park Conservancy recently announced that Philadelphia has become the first major U.S city to map its urban trails and attractions for Google Street View. The footage for the mapping was captured by Parks and Recreation employees, who hiked over 400 miles using Google’s 50-pound Trekker Backpacks. This initiative makes many of Philadelphia’s parks, pathways, and public artworks even easier to explore, and offers a way to experience the city’s vast collection of outdoor sculpture for those who might not be able to otherwise. Below are some public art gems initiated by the Association for Public Art (aPA) that are now accessible through Google Street View.

 

Pavilion in the Trees (1993) by Martin Puryear

Click on the image to explore in Google Maps

Martin Puryear’s Pavilion in the Trees was commissioned by the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art) in 1981, and was installed in 1993. Tucked away near the Horticulture Center in West Fairmount Park, the work was developed for aPA’s Form and Function program. Because of its position high in the trees, Pavilion is a great spot to relax and contemplate the beauty of nature. Another public work by Puryear, Big Bling, is currently on view along Philadelphia’s Kelly Drive. Big Bling is Puryear’s largest temporary outdoor sculpture to date and is presented by the Association for Public Art (aPA) and commissioned by Madison Square Park Conservancy, New York.

Click on the image to explore in Google Maps

 

Fingerspan (1987) by Jody Pinto

Click on the image to explore in Google Maps

Jody Pinto’s landmark sculpture was commissioned by the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art) in 1987. Fingerspan is Pinto’s first permanent outdoor installation in the United States and was created from 18,000 pounds of weathering steel. Located on the Wissahickon Creek trail near Livezey Dam, it provides a link between the human body and the natural world.

Click on the image to explore in Google Maps

 

Cow Elephant and Calf (1962) by Heinz Warneke

Cow Elephant and Calf , a life-size, 37-ton monolith of Norwegian granite, stands near the Philadelphia Zoo’s main entrance. It is considered the largest free-standing single-block sculpture in the United States. Chosen for the commission by the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art) in 1959, artist Heinz Warneke is also known for his sculptures The Immigrant in the Ellen Phillips Samuel Memorial and the Nittany Lion on Penn State’s campus in State College, PA.

Click on the image to explore in Google Maps

 

Lioness Carrying to Her Young a Wild Boar (1886) by Auguste Cain

Auguste Cain, who was born in Paris, exhibited his Lioness in the French Salon of 1886 before it was acquired by the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art). Before its installation at the Philadelphia Zoo, the artwork had been moved twice. It was relocated to the foot of Lemon Hill from its original site on Kelly Drive because, a contemporary newspaper said, its “realistic pose . . . terrified many horses, that in other respects were fearless.” The sculpture was ultimately relocated to the Philadelphia Zoo in 1951.

Click on the image to explore in Google Maps

 

Related Artworks

Artwork

Pavilion in the Trees

(1993)

by Martin Puryear (1941 - )

Lansdowne Glen, Horticulture Center grounds, off North Horticultural Drive, West Fairmount Park

A sixty-foot walkway leads across a natural basin to an observation platform – a square deck covered by a latticed canopy – that rises twenty-four feet above the ground.

Artwork

Fingerspan

(1987)

by Jody Pinto (1942 - )

Wissahickon Creek trail near Livezey Dam, Fairmount Park

Pinto wanted to link the human body with the natural environment in such a way that viewers themselves, passing through the work, would help to establish the connection.

Artwork

Lioness Carrying to Her Young a Wild Boar

(1886)

by Auguste Cain (1822 - 1894)

Philadelphia Zoo, Big Cats Fall; zoo admission (fee) required to view this sculpture

“The Lioness” was exhibited in the French Salon of 1886 before its acquisition by the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art).

Artwork

Cow Elephant and Calf

(1962)

by Heinz Warneke (1895 - 1983)

Philadelphia Zoo, 34th Street and Girard Avenue

The project originated in 1959, when the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art) invited a group of sculptors to submit designs for a work to be placed in the northern section of the zoo

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