About this artwork
John Storrs was a leading American modernist sculptor in the 1920s and 1930s. Although he moved to Paris in 1911 and spent much of his career there, he grew up in Chicago and studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Ceres is a smaller version of the figure Storrs designed for the top of the Chicago Board of Trade Building. In his efforts to make the sculpture symbolic of the building’s purpose, Storrs turned to the Classical subject of Ceres, the Roman goddess of grain, alluding to the board’s activity as the world’s biggest grain exchange. He depicted Ceres holding a sheaf of wheat in one hand and a grain sample bag in the other. Storrs also synchronized his sculpture with the building’s Art Deco architecture, emphasizing the figure’s streamlined form and employing modern materials. Ceres garnered a great deal of praise; a contemporary review stated that “this work has been described by some of the nation’s leading architects as one of the finest pieces of architectural sculpture to be found in America.” Perhaps in reaction to such favorable notices, Storrs produced smaller versions of the sculpture, such as this one.
- John Bradley Storrs
- United States
- Copper-alloy plated with nickel, then chrome
- Inscribed on back of base: STORRS/cast by/American Art Bronze Foundry/Chicago.
- 67.3 × 16.2 × 12.4 cm (26 ½ × 6 3/8 × 4 7/8 in.)
- Gift of John N. Stern