Indians (The Bowman and the Spearman)

Ivan Mestrovic’s mounted Bowman and Spearman face each other from plinths on either side of Ida B. Wells Drive, just east of Michigan Avenue.  The two Indian horsemen are unclothed and are symmetrically and artificially pose – as if frozen – to launch strangely invisible weapons. The musculature of both horse and rider is meticulously delineated and emphasized and the proportions of each also somewhat artificial and stylized.
Photo ©: Jyoti Srivastava


Indians (The Bowman and the Spearman)


1928 (modeled 1926)


Ivan Mestrovic (1883-1962)


Grant Park


Born in Croatia and trained in Vienna, Paris and Kosovo, Ivan Mestrovic’s sculptural style was a hybrid of conservative and modern tendencies, reflecting early twentieth-century movements of art nouveau, expressionism and art deco. While in Chicago in 1925 for an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, he was commissioned by the B.F. Ferguson fund to create two monumental mounted American Indians at the Michigan Avenue entrance of Grant Park at what is now Ida B. Wells Drive. Impressive for their heroic scale and bristling energy, the sculptures have been criticized for their romanticized and reductive images of American Indians.