One Question with Larry Broutman, author of “Chicago Monumental”

Since the 1990s, Larry Broutman has traveled the world over to capture the perfect photograph and has found Chicago to have a plethora of visual inspiration. His projects include work with Lincoln Park Zoo, Africa Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Children’s Memorial Hospital Clinic, and The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. He has also written two books, Chicago Unleashed and his newest, Chicago Monumental.

Broutman attended MIT where he received his S.B., S.M., and doctorate degree in the field of Materials Engineering and Science in 1963. Specializing in Polymer Engineering and Science and Composite Materials, Broutman has vast experience writing college textbooks, reference books, and technical articles. In fact, he was inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame.

Neoteric Art: What was the inspiration behind your new book, Chicago Monumental?

Larry Broutman: The inspiration for Chicago Monumental occurred during the final preparation of my first book, Chicago Unleashed. While Chicago Unleashed is a book of whimsy, vital to its success was photographing much of the popular and well-known public art in Chicago of recent origin, such as Crown Fountain, the Bean, and the Picasso at the Daley Center. However, I also photographed Buckingham Fountain to which I added hippos to create the whimsy. In Chicago Unleashed, I included a brief description of the public art. I discovered that Buckingham Fountain was installed in 1927. This inspired me to begin my research on other public art in Chicago which is historic in terms of its age. Thus, I began 3 or 4 years of research and photography to properly document through high-definition photography Chicago’s historic monuments, resulting in the publication of Chicago Monumental.

Larry Broutman, Eli Bates Fountain by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Frederick Macmonnies in Lincoln Park at Stockton Drive and Belden Avenue. Installed in 1887.

Larry Broutman, The Spirit of Progress (Diana) by George E. Mulligan at Chicago Avenue and the Chicago River. Installed in 1929.

Larry Broutman, Nathan Hale by Bela Lyon Pratt in the Tribune Building’s plaza. Installed in 1940.

Larry Broutman, Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain by architects Bennett, Parsons, and Frost and sculptor Marcel François Loyau at Grant Park on Congress Parkway. Installed in 1927.

Larry Broutman, Lincoln, Head of State (Seated Lincoln) by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in Grant Park. Installed in 1926.

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