If you’ve visited Seattle Center on a hot summer day you’ve likely seen kids playing in the water at Everett Dupen’s Fountain of Creation (1962) at Seattle Center. Or you may have seen people sitting by the fountain in quiet contemplation during the cooler months of the year.
The Fountain of Creation is one of the major artworks originally created for the 1962 World’s Fair. The bronze and stone water garden incorporates three organic forms subtitled the “Evolution of Man,” the “Flight of Gulls” and “Seaweed,” surrounded by rugged rocks rising from the bottom of a large square basin. The fountain references the evolution of life and water’s critical role in that process. It also acts as a celebration of humans, plants and animals on land, sea and in the air. Jets of water, which highlight the bronzes but never eclipse them, playfully add to this sense of vitality.
With the artist’s permission, the city completed a remodel of the fountain in the early 1990s, adding some 45 stones and boulders to the piece and installing equipment to improve water quality. Dupen’s water garden complements the idea of Seattle Center as an urban gathering place and preserves a piece of visual culture from a significant time in Seattle’s history. The artist’s sculptures can be found in public parks and buildings as well as in museums and private collections.
The artwork was a gift of the 1962 World’s Fair to the city of Seattle.
–Joan Peterson, Public Art
Image: Everett Dupen with Paul Thiry; Fountain of Creation; 1962; bronze, colored concrete. Located between Key Arena and the Northwest Rooms at Seattle Center. Photo by Spike Mafford Photography.
Weekly Art Hit is featuring artworks every week from the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and 2000s. to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the city’s public art program.