Crown Fountain (Chicago, Il) : Context view looking north, showing both lateral towers
Plensa, Jaume, 1955-
Millennium Park at Michigan Avenue and Monroe Streets, Chicago, Illinois, United States 1999-2004
50 ft (height)
8/15/2006 1950 AD - 2010 AD
glass block LED video screens
Crown Fountain, named in honor of Chicago's Crown family, was designed by Catalan conceptual artist Jaume Plensa, and is the first of its kind in the world. Transparent glass block bricks are used to build two 50-foot (15 m) towers standing at either end of a long, black granite plaza submerged under an eighth of an inch layer of water. Behind the glass bricks are high-tech LED video screens. When the screens are illuminated they show the faces of nearly a thousand individual Chicagoans, which showcases the vast diversity of the city. Playing on the theme of historical fountains based around gargoyles with water coming through the open mouth of the creature, each video includes specific moments where the person purses his or her lips and water spouts from a point in the display, such that it appears as if the person is spitting the water out. This happens roughly every five minutes, and there is also a continuous stream of water that cascades over the images. [The water is on from mid-spring through mid-fall each year (weather permitting,) while the images remain on year-round.]
Millennium Park: Crown Fountain
Architecture -- United States -- 20th century -- (YVRC) Architecture -- United States -- 21st century -- (YVRC)
fountains (AAT) interactive art (AAT) public art (AAT) sculpture (AAT) video art (AAT)
Copyright Scott Gilchrist, Archivision, Inc The use of this image may be subject to the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) or to site license or other rights management terms and conditions. The person using the image is liable for any infringement.
Yale Community Only
contemporary (1960 to present); portraits; Fountains; parks (recreation areas); towers; waterfall; waterspout; faces; wading pool construction ; photography built works; hydraulic structures; water distribution structures; fountains; visual works
Archivision Module Three
2878 Chamonix, Montreal QC Archivision, Inc. 8/15/2006
Purchase, Visual Resources Collection, May, 2011; photographer Scott Gilchrist
Visual Resources Collection
Visual Resources Collection
Local Record Number:
For more information about this resource, contact:
Many images in the Arts Library’s Visual Resources Digital Collection are scans from reproductions, used for teaching.
When available, information on the original work appears in a Source Note field.
Yale Library cannot provide high-resolution files, nor grant permission for use of copyrighted images.