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Jonah and the Whale (1932)
Transcript of Jonah and the Whale (1932)
Milles Bio Biblical Story
The Fountain Cranbrook History prophet from Galilee from 780B.c.E.-760B.C.E.
God told Jonah to go to Ninevah to preach to the Ninevites (repent from their wickedness.)
Jonah hops on a boat headed for Tarshish, attempting to hide from God.
A storm comes and while others pray JOnah sleeps soundly below deck.
The captain wakes him and they question what he did to bring on the storm.
He admits to hiding from God and suggests they throw him overboard to save themselves..and they do.
As he sinks a big fish (the whale) swallows him. (God's mercy)
Jonah sits in the stomach of the whale for three days and nights thanking God for sparing him.
Then.."He is sincere in his prayer and God tells the whale to spit Jonah out on shore." (Jonah 2:1-10)
The story ends with Jonah then following God's orders and ventures to Nineveh.
This fountain depicts the story of Jonah and the whale with unexpected and delightful images. At the center of the bowl the whale holds a
Buddha-esque Jonah aloft as dozens of small fish spray water over the pair. Milles said about the fountain that his intention was
to "make a joke for the children." Born June 23, 1875 near Uppsala, Sweden with the given name Carl Emil Wilhelm Andersson.
Began his artistic career as more of a craftsman, making cabinets and taking night classes at the Stockholm Technical School for woodworking.
As his interest in art grew, Milles began taking classes for carving and modeling as well.
During the first half of the 20th Century, Milles dominated the Swedish art world.
However, after marrying Olga Granner and returning to Sweden, Milles became dissatisfied with the direction his art was going and destroyed much of his original artwork.
After changing his personal style and using more granite in his art, Milles was again satisfied with his work and began to exhibit his traditional and innovative art throughout Europe in prestegious art galleries such as the Tate Gallery in London.
In 1931, Milles accepted the job as the head of the Department of Sculpture at Cranbrook Institute of Art.
The first work Milles made for Cranbrook, also known as the Cranbrook Fountain, was "Jonah and the Whale" in 1932. Other pieces Milles created for Cranbrook include the Orpheas Fountain and 68 other pieces, making Cranbrook's total Milles count 70 gorgeous works.
During his time in America, Milles's fame as well as critical recognition for his work grew quickly. He was awarded several honors, including an honorary doctorate from Yale University, gold medals from the American Institute of Architecture and the Architectural League of New York, an Award of Merit from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a prize at the 1939 Golden Gate Exhibition.
Milles joined the Cranbrook family in 1931 as director of the Sculpture Department and the resident sculptor.
Among his legacy at Cranbrook is "Jonah and the Whale", created in 1932 and depicting the life of Jonah in high relief.
Eliel Saarinen, then president of the Cranbrook Art Academy and resident architect, said of his acquisition of 70 pieces, "It will make Cranbrook one of the great beauty spots in this country and will add greatly to its importance as an art center."
The fountain itself was modeled by Milles and cast in plaster in his Cranbrook studio.
The fountain was then sent to Stockholm where it was cast in bronze by the Royal Swedish Bronze Casting Co.
Bronze center piece standing 9-feet-tall and 24 bronze fish within
Figure of Jonah is 2 feet tall
Designed in 1931
Produced in 1931 through 1932
Installed in late 1933
retaining and incidental construction cost $6,600.00
cost to cast the fountain $8,100.00
total cost around 15,000.00 for the fountain.
completion for milles Founatin, including walls, ballustrade, columns pavement, basin, grading etc. $28,000.00
Milles originally made this fountain to be used in the courtyard in Kingswood. it was the first piece he started at cranbrook.
The Sea Life urns were designed in the late 1910s by Milles for Lord Melchert and after authorized were cased into two additional pairs.
Cast in 1935 and installed in the late 1930s.
In 1987 Cranbrook began to systematically concerve-- clean and maintain on an annual basis--its entire collection of outdoor bronzes.
The Archives Letter One:
November 27, 1931
The statement of cost for labor and material necessary in completing plaster casts for Jonah FOuntain, which is to be cast in bronze, for The Cranbrook Founation, Lone Pine Road, Bloom-
field Hills, Michigan by herman Pergman, Stockholm Sweden is $1.585.09.
The casts of course, will be destroyed after bronze castnig is completed.
Yours very truly,
Secretary to George G. Booth the
behind.. Email one:
From Steve Hoffman >> TO Community Dist.
Cranbrook has received the Michigan Historic Preservation Network 2003 Cultural Landscape Award for restoration of the sculpture "Jonah and the Whale" by Carl Milles.
The award is presented "to an outstanding cultural landscape preservation project completed in the last three years which has made a significant contribution to the preservation of Michigan's heritage"
Restoration of Jonah and the WHale was completed in Spring 2002 and included the following: restoration of the central bronze sculpture, and two bronze urns, structural repairs, concrete and stone work, plumping and electrical upgrades and landscape renewal.
"Months ago, when the sculpture arrived at Gikas shop the whale was covered in chalky mineral diposits one-eighth inch thick."
"I wanted to make a joke for the children. I thought it would be right to have Jonah appearing with a surprised look on his face. I like it and would like to make another Jonah- more amusing." -Milles