A wide shot of a ceramics studio, featuring students working with pottery wheels and other tools.

Masks and Manes

Art Institute of Chicago Lions
Edward Kemeys, "Lions," 1893, bronze with green patina. Gift of Mrs. Henry Field. ® The Art Institute of Chicago. Photo: Greg Stephen Reigh (BFA 2013)

This spring, the Art Institute of Chicago's Lions donned their own personal protective equipment—larger-than-life face masks adorned with the City of Chicago’s iconic flag. The masks, created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, were installed one day ahead of Governor Pritzker’s Illinois mandate requiring civilians to wear masks in public. Original artist Edward Kemeys designed the north lion to appear “on the prowl,” while the south lion stands with an “attitude of defiance”: a conviction that would later define the summer of 2020.