The Alarm

The Alarm is a large scale bronze sculpture atop a tall, limestone pedestal that shows an American Indian family group, including a standing father and a seated mother and child, along with a protective dog. The father, peers off in the distance with an expression of watchful concern.
Photo ©: Jyoti Srivastava


The Alarm




John J. Boyle (1851-1917)


Lincoln Park


One of Chicago's earliest public sculptures, "The Alarm" was commissioned in 1880 by lumber magnate and real estate investor, Martin L. Ryerson (1818-87). Ryerson spent his early years as a fur trader in Detroit and formally dedicated the sculpture to "The Ottawa Nation of Indians — my early friends." Four bronze relief panels on each side of the pedestal, “The Peace Pipe,” “The Corn Dance,” “Forestry,” and “The Hunt," were stolen in the late 1960s and replaced with the current granite relief panels. Sculptor John J. Boyle grew up in Philadelphia and was trained at the Franklin Institute, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. In preparation for Ryerson's commission, Boyle spent two months observing Native American subjects and making numerous sketches and studies.