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
Brooks McCormick commissioned Fioré de Henriquez in 1987 to create a bronze relief of his granddaughter Fiona and her horse Something Special. Relief sculpture — a two-dimensional form — was first introduced by Italian artists during the early 1800s. Artists use clay originals to create intermediate casts, which they then use to form the bronze sculptures.
Created by Marcia Weese in 1985, this granite, marble and copper fountain resembles a water trough. Water flows from copper pipes to an elevated trough and falls into marble pools. Although the fountain was created for aesthetic reasons, equestrian competitors often used it to water their horses.
Red Brick Wall
To augment the landscaping, Brooks and Hope McCormick installed the columns and archway from the entrance to the old William Deering and Company facility in the farm’s courtyard. The stone wording on the wall is from the McCormick Reaper Manufactory, which was rebuilt after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. 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 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 started this bronze relief in the 1960s after reading 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 began the St. James Riding School for the Handicapped. The piece commemorates the school, which married McCormick’s passion for horses to 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 from photographs and his understanding of horse physiology. Brooks McCormick commissioned a second pouring of the sculpture in 1966 to place near his home.