Gift of the Winds (1978)

by Joseph C. Bailey (1937 - 1994)

Photo Caption: Photo Alec Rogers © 2014 for the Association for Public Art
  • Title

    Gift of the Winds

  • Artist

    Joseph C. Bailey (1937 - 1994)

  • Year

    1978

  • Location

    5th and Market Streets

  • Medium

    Stainless steel and manganese bronze, on brick planter base

  • Dimensions

    Height 17′; width 10′; depth 10′ (base height 4′)

Commissioned by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority

Owned by the property owner

At A Glance

  • The leaf-like forms consist of mirror-polished steel around a core of manganese bronze

  • The sculpture was commissioned for the entrance of a bank building as part of the Redevelopment Authority’s 1% program

  • Aritst Joseph Bailey wanted to link the geometry of the architecture with the park-like setting of nearby Independence Mall

Trees were planted close to the sculpture so that the leaves would reflect in the steel surfaces.

The leaf-like forms of Joseph Bailey’s Gift of the Winds consist of mirror-polished steel around a core of manganese bronze. On two of the surfaces, curving shapes that suggest natural forms such as roots or tendrils are cut into the steel to reveal the bronze beneath, and the central “leaf” is positioned so that it reflects these images on both sides.

Gift of the Winds
Photo Alec Rogers © 2014 for the Association for Public Art

In this work, commissioned for the entrance of a bank building as part of the Redevelopment Authority’s Percent for Art program, Bailey wanted to link the geometry of the architecture with the park-like setting of nearby Independence Mall; thus he used hard-edged metal forms to suggest organic shapes. Trees were planted close to the sculpture so that the leaves would reflect in the steel surfaces. People approaching on the sidewalk can see themselves reflected as well.

Adapted from Public Art in Philadelphia by Penny Balkin Bach (Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1992).

 

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