OOSI Sculpture

Huddle (removed)

1987 / Gene Kangas / Cleveland

00337 old.jpg

Installed outside of Trinity Cathedral, Huddle was Kangas' first major commission. He was signed on by Peter Putnam to help commemorate his mother, Mildred Putnam, who was an active community member at the Cathedral. The piece is loaded with figures, and the box in the middle was a time capsule that chronicled who each figure was modeled after, and information about that person. The wide array of people included Kangas' mother, wife, father, mother-in-law, the artist himself, and many others. He said that he was inspired for the positions of the seated figures by Rodin's Thinker. Kangas mentioned that that pensive pose is exemplary of human nature and the innate desire to seek, understand, and search.

One of the most remarkable models Kangas used was a man named Robbie. Robbie was a homeless gentleman who the Cathedral provided food and refuge to every so often, so he spent a lot of his time around the property. On Kangas' first visit to the Cathedral, he ran into Robbie in the dark alley behind the Church. Robbie, who suffered from some form of mental disability, seemed to charge out of the darkness towards Kangas, frightening him entirely. After showing up on Kangas' radar, Robbie would be on the grounds of the Church while Kangas was scoping out the site of installation and meeting with folks from the Church. One day, Kangas decided to use Robbie as a model, so he approached him and started talking to him. Robbie was long winded and sometimes hard to follow, but he agreed to have photos taken and act as a model. He asked Kangas, "How do you want me to sit?" Kangas responded: "Pensively, with your hand on your chin in a fist." Robbie replied, "You mean like Rodin's 'Thinker'?"

Robbie response stunned Kangas. "Yes, exactly like that," he said. Kangas took his photos and made a few silhouettes based on the model of Robbie, which plays perfectly into one of the many messages of huddle: we all enter into a philosophical discussion with the rest of history when we think. We all ask the same questions and search for different answers. Each silhouette of the thinking figure acts as a representation of the different, sometimes surprising, places that knowledge and understanding can come from. It might be a philosopher or scientist, but just as likely, it's a man you might never expect to be acquainted with 19th c. French sculptors.

Huddle was taken down and destroyed to add a wing to the Cathedral. Kangas was not consulted in a timely manner nor given the opportunity to reinstall the piece elsewhere, and gone with the sculpture is the time capsule.

Location: UNKNOWN | Previous Location: Euclid Avenue Courtyard, Trinity Cathedral, 2021 East 22nd Street.

County

: Cuyahoga

Tags

:

Citation

: Gene Kangas, “Huddle (removed),” Ohio Outdoor Sculpture Inventory, accessed December 16, 2017, http://oosi.sculpturecenter.org/items/show/337.

Dublin Core

Title

Huddle (removed)

Description

Installed outside of Trinity Cathedral, Huddle was Kangas' first major commission. He was signed on by Peter Putnam to help commemorate his mother, Mildred Putnam, who was an active community member at the Cathedral. The piece is loaded with figures, and the box in the middle was a time capsule that chronicled who each figure was modeled after, and information about that person. The wide array of people included Kangas' mother, wife, father, mother-in-law, the artist himself, and many others. He said that he was inspired for the positions of the seated figures by Rodin's Thinker. Kangas mentioned that that pensive pose is exemplary of human nature and the innate desire to seek, understand, and search.

One of the most remarkable models Kangas used was a man named Robbie. Robbie was a homeless gentleman who the Cathedral provided food and refuge to every so often, so he spent a lot of his time around the property. On Kangas' first visit to the Cathedral, he ran into Robbie in the dark alley behind the Church. Robbie, who suffered from some form of mental disability, seemed to charge out of the darkness towards Kangas, frightening him entirely. After showing up on Kangas' radar, Robbie would be on the grounds of the Church while Kangas was scoping out the site of installation and meeting with folks from the Church. One day, Kangas decided to use Robbie as a model, so he approached him and started talking to him. Robbie was long winded and sometimes hard to follow, but he agreed to have photos taken and act as a model. He asked Kangas, "How do you want me to sit?" Kangas responded: "Pensively, with your hand on your chin in a fist." Robbie replied, "You mean like Rodin's 'Thinker'?"

Robbie response stunned Kangas. "Yes, exactly like that," he said. Kangas took his photos and made a few silhouettes based on the model of Robbie, which plays perfectly into one of the many messages of huddle: we all enter into a philosophical discussion with the rest of history when we think. We all ask the same questions and search for different answers. Each silhouette of the thinking figure acts as a representation of the different, sometimes surprising, places that knowledge and understanding can come from. It might be a philosopher or scientist, but just as likely, it's a man you might never expect to be acquainted with 19th c. French sculptors.

Huddle was taken down and destroyed to add a wing to the Cathedral. Kangas was not consulted in a timely manner nor given the opportunity to reinstall the piece elsewhere, and gone with the sculpture is the time capsule.

Creator

Date

1987

Sculpture Item Type Metadata

Location City

Location County

Location Previous

Euclid Avenue Courtyard, Trinity Cathedral, 2021 East 22nd Street.

Location Site

UNKNOWN

Installation Date

11/01/1987