News Service


Steve Sullivan, News Service, (515) 294-3720
Marilyn Vaughan, University Museums, (515) 294-6469


AMES, Iowa -- The Fountain of the Four Seasons, Iowa State University's Christian Petersen sculpture of four Native American maidens, will be rededicated at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 6, in a public ceremony at the fountain site in front of the Memorial Union.

The rededication celebrates the sculpture's recent $250,000 conservation, which is being funded through private gifts, and its return to the ISU campus after nearly a two-year absence.

At the rededication, ISU President Martin C. Jischke and Lynette Pohlman, director of University Museums, will speak about the sculpture and its significance to the university.

"We're grateful for the private support for this noted ISU landmark," said Pohlman. "Many people have shown their affection for the Fountain of the Four Seasons by providing funds to make it last for many more years."

Robert Boeke and Andy Lashier, representatives from the ISU classes of 1948 and 1998, respectively, will talk about the alumni and student fund-raising efforts to fix the fountain. Both contributed lead gifts for their classes, which financed a large portion of the sculpture's conservation costs along with ISU alumni from 1946 and 1947 and other contributors. The fund-raising drive is part of the ISU Foundation's Campaign Destiny: To Become the Best.

The Fountain of the Four Seasons required extensive cleaning to remove built-up salt, mineral deposits and bacterial growth. Conservation Technical Associates of Connecticut soaked the maidens in chemical baths and repaired cracks and other damage. New stainless steel plumbing also was provided for the pool.

Christian Petersen created the sculpture in 1941 after Iowa State President Charles Friley asked him to beautify the pool to prevent vandals from defacing it. Petersen was inspired by a chant from the Iowa Osage tribe. The maidens represent the four seasons, the relationship of the earth's fertility to human life and Native Americans' contributions to agriculture. The fountain is one of the best-known sculptures produced by Petersen during his 21 years as ISU resident sculptor.


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