Mother Nature, Lion

19th century
cast iron
Credit Line
Woodmere Art Museum: Bequest of Charles Knox Smith

In the early twentieth century, Woodmere's founder, Charles Knox Smith, acquired this hollow cast-iron lion for the building’s grounds. American industrialists like Smith ornamented their gardens in imitation of European palaces, which incorporated ancient Greek and Roman statuary as a sign of sophistication. The lion sleeps amid the velvety foliage of a plant known as lamb’s ears. We hope to evoke a passage from Isaiah 11:6, often paraphrased as “the lion and the lamb,” a symbol for the kingdom where ferocious beasts such as the lion live peacefully with gentle animals like the lamb. A curious bronze cat by artist Linda Brenner also inhabits the peaceable kingdom of this entrance garden.

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