Sorel Etrog (1933-2014)


Height: 144 in. (365.8 cm)

Located at Cummings Life Science Center
920 E. 58th Street

Formerly of the Nathan Cummings Collection and given to the University by the Sara Lee Corporation

Artist Profile




The line between the academic campus and the medical campus at the University of Chicago is a porous one. Crossing Ellis and walking down the pedestrian 58th street, all manner of people pass through this supposed boundary, from medical students to humanities undergraduates to people unaffiliated with the University making their way to the Emergency Room or to the bookstore. At the heart of this borderland stands a bronze sculpture reaching forward from its secluded platform on the stairs to the main entrance of the Cummings Life Sciences Center: Sorel Etrog’s Mother and Child.

This sculpture comes from a period of transition for Etrog and his artistic practice. As he moved away from two–dimensional wooden constructions to sculpture, and from New York to Toronto, he drew on the Brooklyn Museum Art School’s collection of indigenous art to inspire his new sculptural efforts in bronze. This process of overhauling his artistic vocabulary brought the artist back to basics and allowed him to reach new heights, both literally and figuratively. This reaching sculpture depicting a formative relationship in human life makes the perfect adornment for this corridor on campus and for the Cummings Life Sciences Center, exhorting the viewer to strive for new heights as it stretches out from its stairway pedestal.


Written by Lauren Eames, BA/MA 2017


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