Campus Buildings Directory
Kwan Wu, 1997
This bronze of KU coaching great Forrest C. “Phog” Allen, dressed in an athlete’s sweatsuit and holding a basketball, is 8 feet 8 inches tall. It is mounted facing east on a granite base at the entrance to the Booth Family Hall of Athletics on the east side of Allen Fieldhouse.
When it was dedicated Dec. 13, 1997, the 90th anniversary of the first basketball game Allen coached at KU, it was sited slightly farther north and faced south. The fieldhouse was named for Allen when it opened March 1, 1955; he retired in 1956 and died in 1974. The sculpture cost $175,000 and was paid for by the Phog Allen Memorial Foundation. Most of the funding was raised by sales of maquettes of the statue, which was sculpted by Kwan Wu and cast by the Degginger Foundry in Topeka.
Wu, a noted Chinese sculptor, came to KU in December 1988 to work with professor/sculptor Elden C. Tefft, whom Wu had met in Shanghai. After the Tiananmen Square protests of spring 1989, Wu stayed in the United States and established a studio in Overland Park, Kan. His other American works include the 12 life-size statues of baseball greats at the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City, Mo.; the life-size figural bronze George Brett at Royals Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.; and Rose at the Kansas State Botanical Gardens at Kansas State University in Manhattan.
See also: Allen Fieldhouse
Peter Fillerup, 1983
John and Virginia Walsh Eulich of Dallas, both 1951 alumni, commissioned this version of the Jayhawk for the Adams Alumni Center, 13th Street and Oread Avenue. It was dedicated Nov. 19, 1983, about six months after the center opened.
The sculptor, Peter Fillerup (b. 1953), is noted for western themes; he said he had never seen a Jayhawk until he visited the campus early in 1983 and gathered pictures and other images. He quickly completed a model for a feathered Jayhawk striding aggressively forward in cleated boots, wings at his side and beak lifted high. The 700-pound sculpture, 4 feet 6 inches tall, was cast at Wasatch Bronzeworks in Lehi, Utah. Fillerup oversaw its installation on the 4-foot tall cylindrical granite base.
Other works by Fillerup are at Brigham Young Historic Park in Salt Lake City, the Biblical Arts Center in Dallas, Philmont Boy Scout Camp in New Mexico, Soldier Hollow 2002 Winter Olympic Venue and Astoria National Park in Oregon.
See also: Adams Alumni Center
Patrick Dougherty, 2009
In May 2009, sculptor Patrick Dougherty, artist-in-residence at the Spencer Museum of Art, led a team of KU faculty members, students and volunteers in constructing a large tree-sapling sculpture in front of Spooner Hall. The piece, commissioned by the Spencer, was part of the museum’s exhibit “Trees & Other Ramifications: Branches in Nature & Culture.”
The swirling sculpture is about two stories tall and encircles an elm tree on the corner of 14th Street and Jayhawk Boulevard. It has several portals and a round opening at the top and is constructed of interwoven saplings of silver maple, rough-leaf dogwood and several elm species harvested near Clinton Lake. As is typical of Dougherty’s work, the piece is site-specific and unique; it is expected to last about two years.
Dougherty, of Chapel Hill, N.C., began doing what he calls “stickwork” art in the early 1980s and has completed projects at arboretums, botanical gardens, parks, and sculpture gardens throughout the United States and in Canada, Mexico, Europe and Japan. Sites include the National Museum of Natural History and the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.; the American Craft Museum in New York; the High Museum of Art in Atlanta; the San Diego Wild Animal Park; and the Copenhagen Botanical Gardens in Denmark.
In 2003 the Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau sponsored “Jayhawks on Parade,” a five-month exhibit of 5-foot, molded fiberglass Jayhawks decorated in themes including Vincent van Gogh, patchwork quilts, cubism, mosaics, and abstractionism. The 30 Jayhawks were decorated by area artists and placed around Lawrence; many later were auctioned for charity.
A few remain on exhibit, including “Classic Jayhawk,” by Katie Kring, permanently mounted at the front entrance of the Kansas Union on Jayhawk Boulevard; and “So Many Faces, But One Heart That Bleeds Crimson and Blue,” by Joanne Renfro, in the Visitor Center, 15th and Iowa streets.
See also: Kansas Union
James Woods Green (1842-1919) was the first head of the KU Department of Law and the first dean when it became the School of Law in 1889; he served from 1878 until his death Nov. 4, 1919. A group of alumni and friends quickly formed an association to create a statue in memory of the beloved teacher and mentor.
When the World War I Memorial Committee was incorporated in 1921 to raise funds for various projects, the statue was selected as one of them. Other projects funded by the “Million Dollar Drive” were Memorial Stadium, dedicated Nov. 11, 1922; and the Kansas Union, begun in 1926 and completed in 1938.
Members of the Green memorial association campaigned to commission Daniel Chester French, the noted New York sculptor whose most famous work is the massive seated statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. French declined at least one request but finally acceded after further pleas and a visit to the campus and town, where he was inundated with expressions of esteem and affection for Green. French reportedly said he had “never seen such love for a man — unless it be in the case of Abraham Lincoln.”
French designed a memorial depicting Green, dressed in a morning coat, with his right arm on the shoulder of a young man wearing a KU letter sweater and jacket, his trousers tucked into lace-up boots. French made this modeling choice to avoid four legs in long trousers, he said; he had no knowledge of the traditional rivalry between KU law and engineering students, who typically wore such boots. French’s fee was $40,000; of that sum, $33,000 came from the Million Dollar Drive, the rest from private funds.
Dedicated June 9, 1924, as the Dean James Woods Green Memorial, the bronze statues are 7 feet 7 inches tall and were cast by Anton Kunst Foundry of New York; the marble pedestal and bench were designed by French’s associate Henry Bacon and constructed by Piccirilli Brothers of New York.
When the new Green Hall opened west of Naismith Drive and 15th Street in 1977, the decision was made to leave the statue on Jayhawk Boulevard. It was part of the hall’s National Register of Historic Places designation of 1974, and concerns were expressed about the risks of separating and moving the statue and pedestal.
Master mason and sculptor Joseph Robaldo Frazee and his son Vitruvius Frazee carved the 12 creatures in 1901 and 1902. The cottonwood limestone statues, each 44 inches tall, resemble the gargoyles used on medieval buildings to disguise drainpipes; the Dyche creatures are “grotesques,” because they lack the pipe and spout that permit gargoyles to function as drains.
The Frazees also carved the friezes of fantastic animals and plants and the other decorative stone elements on the Venetian Romanesque building, which was designed by Kansas City architects Walter C. Root and George W. Siemens.
Three grotesques have words from KU’s signature chant engraved on plaques on their chests: on the southwest side, the words “Rock Chalk” and the date 1873, the year the first university class graduated; on the left above the front entrance, “Jayhawk” and a question mark, unexplained; and on right above the front entrance, “KU.”
Four of the originals were removed when a Dyche addition was built in 1962, and one was lost; the three others were restored in 1996 by Lawrence sculptor John Swift and are in the administrative offices on the sixth floor of Dyche Hall. One of these, resembling a lion, has the word “Kansas” engraved on a banner on its chest.
See also: Dyche Hall
The sculpture, mounted on a base of black granite at the southeast entrance to Nichols Hall on west campus, is drawn from the Greek myth of Daedalus and his son, Icarus, who tried to escape from the isle of Crete by flying on wings whose feathers were attached with wax. Icarus was so exhilarated by flying that he rose too close to the sun, which melted the wax; he is portrayed as he plunges from the sky. The statue’s inscription says it represents “the willingness of mankind to experiment and to venture into the unknown even though such quests may be dangerous.”
Sculptor Charles Umlauf (1911-94) created several versions of the image; this bronze is 11 feet 6 inches high and 6 feet 6 inches wide and was cast in 1964 at a foundry in Milan, Italy. It is the gift of the Phillips Petroleum Co. of Bartlesville, Okla., and had been in the lobby of its headquarters there.
Umlauf taught for 40 years at the University of Texas-Austin. His works are held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institute, and other public institutions and by many private collections.
Nichols Hall houses the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS), the Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory, and the Information and Telecommunication Technology Center.
See also: Nichols Hall
The Spencer Museum of Art purchased this abstract sculpture in 1981, after it had been on loan. Kansas City artist Richard Hollander (1911-91) fabricated the work of welded steel painted black in 1970; it is 21.5 feet long, 5 feet high and 4 feet wide. Its three groupings of discs connected by rectangular bars represent the experience of traveling on the interstate highway. It is sited in Marvin Grove about midway between Bailey Hall on the south and the art museum on the north.
See also: Weaver Courtyard
Entrance to KU Visitor Center
Gift, Class of 1999
Elwell is an alumnus who holds a 1964 undergraduate degree and a 1967 law degree.
See also: Templin Hall
This distinctive Jayhawk was commissioned by the Class of 1956 and designed and cast by Elden C. Tefft, professor of sculpture. He has said he was inspired by the sharp-beaked “fighting Jayhawks” that were mascots from 1929 to 1946, but the statue also has been called “the Pterodactyl.”
The bronze is 4 feet 2 inches tall and weighs more than 600 pounds; it was cast at the KU foundry established by Tefft, a faculty member from 1950 to 1990. After its completion in 1958, it was sited on the west side of the Kansas Union and moved to Baumgartner Drive in the early 1960s. In April 1975, at the suggestion of Chancellor Archie Dykes, it was moved from this obscure site to the front of Strong Hall on Jayhawk Boulevard. It is mounted on a granite base 4 feet 5 inches tall that is in turn mounted on an octagonal concrete base 12 feet in diameter.
In late 1996, vandals knocked the Jayhawk off its pedestal, damaging its head and wings. Tefft and his son, Kim Tefft, repaired and remounted it in February 1997. In September 2005 the Teffts made a mold so they could reproduce the statue for placement in front of Regnier Hall on the Edwards Campus in Overland Park.
Another version of this Jayhawk is on display on the third floor of Kansas Union. Called “Jayhawk II Kansas Sarimanok,” it is a copy of a 26-inch model Tefft created at the request of KU alumni in the Philippines because it resembles the sarimanok, a bird in Filipino mythology. The original was destroyed in university student riots in 1984, but the Philippine chapter could not afford to buy a replacement.
See Korean War Memorial in the Markers and Memorials section
Elements of Art Moderne and Art Deco combine on the facade of Lindley Hall. Two three-story columns mark the main entry, and three inset limestone bas-reliefs of geologists and engineers are executed in a socialist-realist style.
Bernard “Poco” Frazier created the three sculptures for what was called the Mineral Resources Building when it opened in 1943. Each is 5 feet 3 inches by 3 feet 6 inches and 6 to 8 inches deep and bears a large and a smaller image of men engaged in scenes connected to the earth sciences: (from left) petroleum engineering (a large hoisting apparatus), chemical engineering (tubing and a tower) and geology and mining (pickaxe).
This filigreed bronze, evoking the image on the University of Kansas seal, was planned to complement the stained-glass window “Burning Bush,” designed by Smith Hall architect Charles L. Marshall of Topeka. The window was donated by Mr. and Mrs. L. Allyn Laybourn in memory of his parents, the Rev. Lemuel and Susan M. Laybourn, and executed by Jacoby Studios of St. Louis.
The 10-foot statue of the kneeling Moses is the gift of Corinne Wooten Miller of Tonganoxie in memory of her husband, Charles E. Miller. It is by art professor/sculptor Elden C. Teftt and was dedicated May 12, 1982.
Tefft and his assistants cast the statue, which weighs 1.5 tons, in KU’s foundry. Open webbing forms the shape of the kneeling figure, who is bearded and whose hands are joined in prayer. The location for the statue had been chosen when plans were prepared for Smith Hall 17 years earlier, but a new test boring located an old cistern on the site. A 15-foot shaft of concrete was installed as a foundation for the 4-foot base and the statue.
See also: Smith Hall
The inscription on the hall’s portico reads: “Whoso findeth wisdom findeth life,” and a sandstone owl, the symbol of wisdom, sits in a niche on the gable. The owl may have been designed by the Spooner architect, Henry van Brunt (1832-1903), a partner in the Kansas City, Mo., firm of Van Brunt & Howe. He was an 1854 graduate of Harvard University and a student of Richard Morris Hunt, the most notable American proponent of the Gothic Revival and Renaissance Revival styles.
See also: Spooner Hall
South of Fraser Hall
The first sculpture on campus, The Pioneer was a 1905 gift of Simeon B. Bell of Wyandotte County, Kan., a physician and real-estate speculator. In memory of his late wife, Bell donated land and funding for the Eleanor Taylor Bell Memorial Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., which became the University of Kansas School of Medicine and the University of Kansas Hospital.
Bell purchased the bronze, originally titled The Corn Planter, at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. It is by Frederick C. Hibbard of Chicago and was cast by the American Bronze Foundry Co. of Chicago. Bell presented it to the university in hopes it might help succeeding generations “understand the difficulties and handicaps early Kansans encountered.”
In storage until 1916, the statue was first sited in front of Spooner Library. In 1920 it was moved to the west end of campus and mounted on a base donated by the Class of 1920 on the site of the present-day Chi Omega Fountain. In 1926 it was moved to the east side of old Fraser Hall; it was reinstalled in 1969 at its current site south of new Fraser, near a plaque marking the location of Civil War trenches and barracks.
The bronze, of a farmer sowing corn in a trench he is digging with a spade, is 5 feet 11¼ inches tall. Its base is 1 foot 4 inches by 2 feet 6 inches. The inscription “1856” on the base may commemorate the year Bell and his family moved to Kansas from Ohio.
The piece is an early work by Hibbard (1881-1950), a prolific sculptor who had a studio in Chicago from 1904 to 1948. His works include sculptures of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, Mark Twain, and Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.
See also: Fraser Hall
East of Blake Hall
When Topeka artist James Bass (b. 1933) created this welded bronze piece, he said, he was endeavoring “to reconcile the visual landscape of the 20th century with the textures and forms of the Kansas landscape.” The piece, 7 feet 2 inches tall and almost 4 feet wide, was donated by the Pi Deuteron chapter of Phi Gamma Delta to commemorate its centennial May 2, 1981.
See also: Chi Omega Fountain
Above the main entry of the former Watkins Memorial Hospital, which opened in 1932, is a large limestone relief depicting St. George slaying the Dragon, representing disease. It was designed by Professor Marjorie Whitney, a 1929 alumna and chair of KU’s Department of Design (1940-68). Other Whitney ornamentation on Twente includes a sculpted door and bas-reliefs of animals, garlands and flowers on the tower.
This large steel sculpture — 35 feet tall, 24 feet wide and weighing more than 30 tons — is by sculptor Dale Eldred (1933-93) and was a gift to the Spencer Museum of Art from Mr. and Mrs. John M. Simpson, who had exhibited it at their home in Salina, Kan.
In June 1981 the piece was delivered to a site selected by a university committee that included Charles Eldredge, director of the Spencer Museum of Art; the site was a triangular piece of land directly south of the Prairie Acre at Sunnyside Avenue and Sunflower Road. The first attempt to install the huge piece on the inclined site was unsuccessful; additionally, residents of the adjacent University Place neighborhood expressed objections to its scale and to the loss of green space. The unmounted piece was removed to storage at the Facilities Operations warehouse in November 1981.
In January 1984 a new site, on the south lawn near Youngberg Hall on west campus, was selected and the piece installed. It comprises a rectangular plane on a 45-degree angle supported by two sets of angled girders supported by 5-inch suspension rods. An example of gigantism, it has been called a “huge sundial” and “the waffle iron.”
Eldred, chairman of the sculpture department at the Kansas City Art Institute, was internationally known for such large pieces, one of which is at the entrance to the institute. He died in a fall at his studio in the West Bottoms of Kansas City when he was trying to save his work and tools during the flood of July 1993.
See also: Youngberg Hall
Spencer Museum of Art
This aluminum piece, painted black and mounted on the north promenade of the Spencer Museum of Art, is by Louise Nevelson and was purchased by the Spencer Museum in 1983 with support from the Price R. & Flora Reid Foundation, the Spencer Fund, KU Endowment and the National Endowment for the Arts. It is 8 feet tall, 1 foot 10 inches wide and 2 feet 6 inches deep and is mounted on a base approximately 2 feet square.
Nevelson, (1900-88), a Russian-born American artist, was a pioneer of environmental sculpture. Her work is in the collections of the Whitney and the Guggenheim museums and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Detroit Institute of Art and the National Gallery of Art, among many others.
See also: Spencer Museum of Art
This large piece, on the east lawn of Green Hall, was purchased by the Spencer Museum in 1987 with support from the Wescoe Fund, endowed by former Chancellor and Mrs. W. Clarke Wescoe. The piece honors Barbara Wescoe’s father, Judge Willard M. Benton, a 1920 alumnus of the School of Law. It was dedicated Oct. 31, 1987.
The bronze, cast and welded, is 8 feet 10 inches tall, 15 feet 11 inches wide and 7 feet deep. It portrays a figure in a dynamic pose typical of the soft-style martial art of tai chi, which emphasizes strength and balance.
Its sculptor, Zhu Ming, was born in Taiwan in 1938 and trained as a woodcarver. He is noted for his series of taiji (shadow-boxing) figures begun in the mid-1970s, of which the Green Hall figure is one.
See also: Wescoe Hall
Spencer Museum of Art
James Rosati, an American sculptor, often created pieces that he did not name, and this steel piece is an example. It is 12 feet 10 inches tall, 4 feet 9 inches wide and 2 feet 4 inches deep and weighs 1,500 pounds. It is mounted on a 4-foot tall base on the south lawn of Spencer Museum and was dedicated in May 1980. The museum purchased the piece in 1980 with funds from the Price R. & Flora Reid Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Rosati (1912-88) is represented in collections of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Whitney Museum of Modern Art in New York, among many others. His 29- by 23-foot, stainless-steel “Ideogram” of 1967 was lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, destruction of the World Trade Center in New York, as were pieces by Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, Louise Nevelson, Joan Miro, Roy Lichtenstein and other modern masters.
See also: Spencer Museum of Art
Duane Ellifritt, 1986
This piece, installed in 1998, was inspired by the original created in 1986 by Duane Ellifritt, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Florida, as a teaching tool to demonstrate methods of connecting steel structural parts. About 30 other versions exist in engineering schools around the country.
The Learned Hall piece was fabricated by Builders Steel of North Kansas City, Mo., and installed at the west end of the complex by a collaborative of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Havens Steel of Kansas City, Kan., and Ottawa; Penny’s Concrete of Lawrence; and Builders Steel.
Steel beams and bars, connected by bolts and other fastening devices, make up the piece, which is 8 feet tall and coated with epoxy.
This copper and bronze sculpture by Kansas artist John Whitfield, dedicated Nov. 1, 1985, was financed by state fees that also paid for a 1983 addition to Moore. Its inscription notes that it is a “memento to the oil-field roustabout who does the nitty-gritty work” of the industry in Kansas.
The piece is 7 feet 3 inches tall and 4 feet 7 inches wide; it is mounted at the south entrance of Moore Hall on a base comprising three large slabs of Kansas limestone.
See also: Moore Hall
To honor World War I casualties, the Victory Highway Association began a campaign in 1921 to set a statue of a female bald eagle defending her eaglets at every county line along U.S. 40, then a transcontinental highway. The Douglas County statue, said to be the second in the country, was paid for by donations from local women’s clubs; its base was set on land donated by H.G. Van Neste north of the intersection of U.S. 40 and Kansas 32 at the Douglas-Leavenworth county line and dedicated May 27, 1929.
In 1980 the statue was vandalized and knocked off its pedestal; Tom Swearingen, director of exhibits for the Natural History Museum, requested the statue for the museum, and it was rededicated there in 1982. Similar monuments are in Gage Park in Topeka and the city park of Wamego, Kan.
The bronze statue is 4 feet tall and has a wingspan of 7 feet 6 inches; it rests on a limestone pedestal 9 feet tall. It was cast in 1920 after consultation with ornithologists Thomas F. Roberts of the University of Minnesota and Otto Widman of St. Louis.
See also: Dyche Hall
This bronze sculpture, 8 feet tall and weighing 3,000 pounds, signifies the importance of water to all living things. It is the gift of Clarence J. and Hazel M. Beck of Rye, N.H., to commemorate the 1994 centennial of Spooner Hall. He is a 1943 metallurgical engineering graduate and a pioneer in nuclear and atomic research; in 1992 he received the Distinguished Engineering Service Award.
Goseyun (b. 1960) cast the work at KU in the summer of 1994 in cooperation with sculptor Doug Warnock and several students. Goseyun, a San Carlos Eastern White Mountain Apache, is noted for his “Apache Spirit Mountain Dancer” series. His works are held by Haskell Indian Nations University; the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture in Santa Fe, N.M.; and the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles, among other collections.
See also: Spooner Hall