Chicago statues are now talking as part of Statue Stories Chicago, a project funded by the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. For the next year, when you use your smartphone to swipe a tag near one of 30 statues throughout the city, you’ll receive a short audio recording detailing the significance of the historical figure depicted or the nature of the statue’s contribution to Chicago’s robust public art landscape. The recordings have been produced as a collaboration between Chicago writers, actors, and theatres.
Additional features of the project include the supplemental educational resources and public programs provided by other cultural institutions in the area. Each statue is paired with an organization whose collections or services users can consult to deepen their understanding after listening to the statue’s “story.”
Based on the Newberry’s collection strengths, we are supporting inquiries into three statues with “From the Stacks” essays devoted to each and helpful links providing a point of entry into the collection items related to the figures whom the statues immortalize. The “Newberry statues” include Benjamin Franklin (Lincoln Park), Nathan Hale (Tribune Tower), and William Shakespeare (Lincoln Park).
The “From the Stacks” essays are just a small contribution to the corpus of writings devoted to Franklin, Hale, and Shakespeare. They might, however, suggest an avenue or two for pursuing research on one or all three using the Newberry’s collections.
- “He Might Have Invented the Telegraf” (Benjamin Franklin)
- “One Life to Lose” (Nathan Hale)
- “Shakespeare for Sale” (William Shakespeare)
Learn more about research at the Newberry.