Lincoln Park sculpture: Eagle or 'Hunger Games' Mockingjay?

(Chicago Park District )
March 19, 2012|By Mick Swasko, RedEye

Sometimes, life imitates art. Other times, art just seems to mirror pop-culture.

Though the "Eagle Columns" sculpture has been a fixture in Lincoln Park for more than two decades, one could be forgiven currently for suggesting the abstract birds perched above Jonquil Park seem to bear a resemblance to the iconic "Mockingjay" symbol of "The Hunger Games," opening this week. The fictional, sharp-beaked bird is depicted in metallic clutching an arrow and surrounded by a ring on the book cover of the first installment of the teen adventure trilogy.

Located at the northwest end of the park near the intersection of Wrightwood Avenue, Sheffield Avenue and Lincoln Avenue, "Eagle Columns" features three prominent birds on bronze columns. The largest of the bunch seems to hold a long-narrow rod, not unlike the Mockingjay, featured on some of the covers of "The Hunger Games" trilogy as well as the poster for the movie.

"Eagle Columns"– installed in 1989 by Richard Hunt – commemorates Illinois politician John Peter Altgeld and poet Vachel Lindsay. According to the Chicago Park District's description of the work, Altgeld virtually ruined his political career by pardoning three men in 1893 who were believed to have been responsible for Chicago's Haymarket Riot in 1886. The description credits a poem published by Lindsay decades later that shifted public opinion in favor of Altgeld's forgiveness of the men.

In "The Hunger Games" trilogy, the Mockingjay and other genetically altered birds were used as spies to gather intelligence in a dystopian future. | @mickswasko

RedEye Chicago Articles