Famed Artist Alfonso Iannelli, this year the subject of a major exhibition, executed this beautiful memorial in 1927 to the memory of Georgia Guard, a child of his close friends, in the Town of Maine Cemetery, Park Ridge, Ill. Iannelli was, by that time, famed for his collaboration with Frank Lloyd Wright on Midway Gardens, then the premiere performing arts center in the country, and is also the artist behind the incredible art deco Zodiac embellishments at Chicago's Adler Planetarium. Iannelli also collaborated with some of the great lights in early modern architecture. His work is still in evidence across the city of Chicago and the country - in states as diverse as Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Lousiana, New Mexico and California.
Alfonso Iannelli (1886-1965) was a major American sculptor, poster and graphic designer. Besides his collaboration with Wright, he also worked with Belli & Belli, Barry Byrne, Wm Drummond, Irving Gill, Granger & Bollenbeck, Ernest Grunsfeld Jr, Holabird & Roche, Holabird & Root, Hermann Van Holtz, Raymond Hood, Loebl Schlossman & Demuth, Geo W Maher, Naess & Murphy, Dwight Perkins, Purcell & Elmslie, Andrew Rebori, Alfred Shaw, Skidmore Owings Merrill, Tallmadge & Watson, Harold Zook. The sheer breadth of partner architects illustrates Iannelli's fervent belief in collaborative problem solving.
He and his studio were responsible for many important displays for the 1933 Century of Progress in Chicago. No one received more commissions at the fair than Iannelli's Studios, including its most popular exhibit the Radio Flyer's colossal (37 ft) "Coaster Boy", and the Fair's most viewed exhibit the Havoline Motor Oil 20-story high thermometer, the entire Children's Playlot named "The Enchanted Island," and 8 other exhibits -- one of which remains on display at The Wolfsonian Museum in Miami Beach, Florida. Iannelli was selected to do The Radio Entrance to Social Science Hall because he had built previously the first studio exclusively designed for radio broadcasting i.e. WLS in the Sherman Hotel in 1925. He was a highly influential commercial artist, industrial and interior and architectural designer in the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s.
The Guard Memorial was executed in cast concrete but is nearing the end of its lifespan. The plot is also the final resting place of the artist himself. The family, including Sam Guard, a friend of Iannelli, want to restore the memorial and build a marker to Iannelli's memory. The cost of rehabilitation has been estimated at between $70,000 and $100,000 - out of reach of the family. We're beginning the restoration by molding and re-casting the central figure, Georgia herself, estimated to cost $15,000. Donations above and beyond that amount will go to underwrite the entire restoration and to create a headstone for the artist. Help us restore and preserve this important work and create a lasting tribute to Alfonso Iannelli.
The fundraising campaign is being administered through Preservation Chicago, a non-profit advocacy dedicated to protecting and preserving great works of architecture and design associated with Chicago.
Risks and challenges
Once sufficient funds are raised to begin construction, the memorial will be carefully disassembled and rebuilt with special attention paid to the arts and crafts sensibilities of the Guard Family and Iannelli's artistic vision. Where necessary, new components will be fabricated and the entire plot will be re-landscaped per the original intent.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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