Many pieces commissioned by the McCormick family remain at the forest preserve today.
This fountain of three life-sized leaping dolphins is by Italian sculptor Fioré de Henriquez, who worked with clay, stone and bronze.
Fiona and Something Special Relief
In 1987 Brooks McCormick commissioned Fioré de Henriquez to create a bronze relief of his granddaughter Fiona and her horse Something Special. Like other relief artists, de Henriquez used clay originals to create intermediate casts, which she then used to form the final sculpture.
Marcia Weese created this granite, marble and copper fountain in 1985. According to Weese, “The fountain is balanced in perfect symmetry, and the two-ness of the forms refers to horses gathering at the watering hole to drink communally. The rolled edges of the marble pools
look and feel like the muzzle of a horse.” Although the fountain was created for aesthetic reasons, equestrian competitors often used it to water their horses.
Red Brick Wall
To augment the landscaping in the farm’s courtyard, the McCormick family installed the columns and archway from the entrance to the old William Deering and Company facility. The stone wording on the wall is from the McCormick Reaper Manufactory. The International Harvester Corporation insignia is on the west end of the wall, and tablets from International Harvester Tractor Works and Milwaukee Works hang from the wall and columns.
Carole Harrison brazed and then appliquéd sheets of copper to create this abstract, which she completed in 1962. Hope McCormick reportedly purchased it as a gift for her husband, Brooks.
This art deco oil painting above the stable’s west entry dates back to Chauncey and Marion McCormick’s time at the estate in the 1930s.
“I Saw a Child” Relief
Artist Ann Frey received inspiration for this piece from the poem “I Saw a Child” by John Davies, a renowned expert on therapeutic riding. Brooks McCormick hired Davies in 1974 to direct equestrian operations at the farm and shortly thereafter opened the St. James Riding School for the Handicapped. The relief, which Frey completed in 1986, commemorates the school, which married McCormick’s passion for horses with a greater philanthropic cause.
This life-size bronze sculpture of Stanhope Joel’s 1945 St. Leger Stakes champion is a reproduction of a piece by British artist John R. Skeaping. In 1965 Joel commissioned Skeaping to create the original for his breeding farm in Newmarket, England. Skeaping worked for nine months to complete the piece using photographs and his understanding of horse physiology. Brooks McCormick commissioned this second pouring in 1966.