Lincoln Park: Goddess of Youth
Located in the Lincoln Park Conservatory this concrete sculptural fountain depicts the Hebe, the Greek goddess of youth. During the early 1800s, Danish artist Bertel Thorvaldsen produced several different sculptures depicting Hebe. By the late nineteenth century, neoclassicism was popular throughout much of the world, and reproductions of Thorvaldsen’s Hebe sculpture became available. By the mid-to-late twentieth century, various versions of the replica were mass produced and widely distributed. In this version, Hebe is a slightly smaller than the life-sized female figure draped in a toga and holding a pitcher on her shoulder which spouts a thin stream of water.
This reproduction was first installed in the Show House of the Garfield Park Conservatory sometime in the 1960s. During this period, there were also two other neoclassical goddess statues in the Garfield Park Conservatory’s Warm House. The Goddess of Youth was moved to the Lincoln Park Conservatory sometime before 1980 and is now located in the Orchid House. An original sculptural depiction of Hebe by sculptor Franz Machtl can be found at the Rosenberg Fountain in Grant Park.