New Sculpture Erected Along Schuylkill River Trail

Photo by Margot Berg  / Creative Philadelphia

Photo by Margot Berg / Creative Philadelphia

Joggers, roller-bladers and that one woman who skips along the Schuylkill River trail will notice a new sculpture marking their path.

“Air,” a work by Philadelphia sculptor Walker Hancock was erected after a $30,000 renovation. It had been sitting in storage since 1999, when the Civic Center, where it was initially erected, was destroyed. More on its history from Newsworks:

“There were three sculptures [at the Civic Center,] called ‘Earth,’ ‘Air,’ and ‘Water.’ Three different artists,” said Margot Berg of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy. “Walker Hancock was in fact the coordinator and the leader of the small group of artists the brought along in this project.”

The other artists were Joe Brown and EvAngelos Frudakis, but their “Earth” and “Water,” respectively, are not part of this re-installation along the Schuylkill. Berg raised $30,000 for the restoration and placement of “Air.” She said the other artists are not as prominent in the history of American art as Walker, making it more difficult to find funds to restore their work.

Hancock got national attention last year, when his work in the “Monuments Men,” a group of fellows during World War II who were tasked with hunting down European artworks stolen by Nazis, was featured in the George Clooney-directed film Monuments Men. Hancock was portrayed by John Goodman.

Hancock also headed the sculpture department at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and one of his most prominent works, a World War II memorial, still rests in 30th Street Station.

“Air” will be honored with a formal dedication later this month.