Gamekeeper’s Night Dog (1989)

by Victoria Davila (1950 - )

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

    Gamekeeper’s Night Dog

  • Artist

    Victoria Davila (1950 - )

  • Year

    1989

  • Location

    Reliance Triangle, Pennsylvania Avenue, Fairmount Avenue, and 25th Street

  • Medium

    Bronze, on concrete base

  • Dimensions

    Height 3'9" (base 4"); width 2'6"; weight 500 pounds

  • Themes

    Women and Public Art, The Animal Kingdom

Gift of Mr. Edward Schwartz

Owned by the City of Philadelphia

At A Glance

  • Edward H. Schwartz gifted the sculpture as a centerpiece for Reliance Triangle

  • The sculpture is 1.5 times larger than a real Bullmastiff dog

  • Artist Victoria Davila is recognized for natural forms and animal sculptures

Seated at the center of Reliance Triangle, between Fairmount Avenue, 25th Street, and Pennsylvania Avenue, Gamekeeper’s Night Dog is sculptor Victoria Davila’s oversized rendition of a Bullmastiff dog. 

Davila, who obtained her BFA and MFA from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, is a New Mexico artist recognized for her work with animals and natural forms. She was chosen from a pool of four sculptors to create the centerpiece in Reliance Triangle.

The Bullmastiff sits sideways with its head and forelegs facing forward in an attempt to capture the docile and noble nature of the breed

The 500-pound bronze sculpture was an individual gift from Bullmastiff breeder and exhibitor Edward H. Schwartz, who had a personal passion for documenting Philadelphia’s collection of outdoor sculpture, creating and sharing slides of the artworks with friends and family. His proposal for the artwork came about as a response to the park’s need for a centerpiece, after a fountain to be transported from Kelly Drive split in two during the removal process.

The Bullmastiff sculpture sits sideways with its head and forelegs facing forward in an attempt to capture the docile and noble nature of the breed. Other features, such as Davila’s choice of material, draw inspiration from the Perelman Building, formerly the Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Company building, directly behind it, which features Great Dane carvings and bronze grillwork.

Close up of Gamekeeper's Night Dog by Victoria Davila
Photo Alec Rogers © 2014 for the Association for Public Art

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