The Lion Fighter (1858, cast 1892)

by Albert Wolff (1814 - 1892)

Photo Caption: Photo Caitlin Martin © 2010 for the Association for Public Art
Philadelphia Museum of Art at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
1858, cast 1892

  • Title

    The Lion Fighter

  • Artist

    Albert Wolff (1814 - 1892)

  • Year

    1858; cast 1892; relocated 1929

  • Medium

    Bronze, on limestone base

  • Dimensions

    Height 14′, width 14'1", depth 8'4" (base height 17′, width 13'9 1/2", depth 10'2 1/2")

  • Themes

    Equestrian Sculpture, The Animal Kingdom

Commissioned by the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art)

Owned by the City of Philadelphia


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At A Glance

  • Part of the Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO program

  • Cast locally by the Bureau Brothers in 1892 for exhibition at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago

  • Originally installed on a “jutting rock” on East River Drive (now Kelly Drive)

The original Lion Fighter sits as a companion piece to August Kiss’s Mounted Amazon Attacked by a Panther on the steps of the National Museum in Berlin. The Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art) purchased the original plaster cast for The Lion Fighter in 1889 and placed it in Memorial Hall for public viewing, along with a plaster version of the Amazon. This bronze was cast locally by the Bureau Brothers in 1892 for exhibition at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. When returned to Philadelphia, it was installed on a “jutting rock” on East River Drive. It was moved to the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1929, where – as in Berlin – it accompanies a bronze cast of the Amazon.

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

Albert Wolff's The Lion Fighter on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Photo Caitlin Martin © 2010 for the Association for Public Art

 

RESOURCES:

Museum Without Walls logo: a program of the Association for Public Art

 

Voices heard in the program:

Ann Kuttner is professor of Greek, Roman, and Etruscan art at the University of Pennsylvania.

Judith Schaecter is a Philadelphia-based artist who works primarily in the museum of stained glass.

Thayer Tolles is Associate Curator of American Sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Segment Producer: Ben Shapiro

A program of the Association for Public Art (formerly the Fairmount Park Art Association), Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO is an innovative and accessible outdoor sculpture audio program for Philadelphia’s preeminent collection of public art.

User calls Museum Without Walls Audio for Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture
Photo Albert Yee © 2010 for the Association for Public Art

A “multi-platform” interactive audio experience – available for free by cell phone, mobile app, or on our website – Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO offers the unique histories that are not typically expressed on outdoor permanent signage.

Unlike audio tours that have a single authoritative guide or narrator, each speaker featured in Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO is an “authentic voice” – someone who is connected to the sculpture by knowledge, experience, or affiliation.

Over 150 unique voices are featured, including artists, educators, scientists, writers, curators, civic leaders, and historians.

LEARN MORE >>

 

This artwork is part of the Along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway tour, and the Around the Philadelphia Museum of Art tour.

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