The NPHM is excited to receive an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts of $30,000.00 for the restoration and return of the enchanting New Deal animal sculptures by Edgar Miller to the Museum’s Courtyard at the historic Jane Addams Homes located at 1322 West Taylor Street.
“We have assembled a dream team that includes acclaimed landscape designer Ernie Wong from Site-Design and Andrzej Dajnowski from the Conservation of Sculpture and Object Studio to restore and install these sculptures” says Lisa Yun Lee, the Executive Director of the NPHM, “and we are thrilled that these works of art will once again create a vibrant public space in their original historic setting, exemplifying the core belief that art and design create livable communities.”
The seven-piece public sculpture Animal Court by Edgar Miller was central to the design of the Jane Addams Homes, one of Chiago's most ambitious public housing projects. Miller's sculptures were commissioned by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and, from 1938 to 2006, functioned as a gathering place in the courtyard of the housing project, where people crossed boundaries of race and class to build community. As one of Chicago’s most innovative and multidisciplinary artists, Miller recognized public housing as a space for artistic experimentation and a platform for expressing democratic values—a place where an artist could realize the ideal of accessible art for all people.