Photography statue being located from Jefferson Park to Crete, IL, where sculptor grew up


The bronze photographer statue which has stood across from the Jefferson Park CTA Terminal since 1990 will be relocated this summer to the Illinois town of Crete, where the statue’s sculptor Bruce Fink grew up.

Alderman John Arena’s art liaison Cyd Smillie said that it is “kind of poetic” that the statue will be on display in front of the Crete Library, given that members of the Fink family have played an integral role in the development of the library in Crete. The library’s first home was inside an historic house in space that was donated by the Fink family.

The statue, which depicts a photographer and his camera in the 1920s, was in need of a new home after the recent relocation of the Edward Fox Photography studio at 4900 N. Milwaukee Ave. to a new location at 6133 N. Northwest Highway. Plans call for the one-story building on Milwaukee to be sold to a developer who reportedly is seeking to construct at least two floors of residential units above the first-floor commercial space.

Efforts were made to keep the statue in Jefferson Park, but the City of Chicago is not looking to acquire more pieces of public art until it figures out how it can best maintain and restore its existing displays of art, Smillie said.

Former Edward Fox operator Dick Nopar is donating the statue to the Village of Crete, which is responsible for the installation costs. Crete is located about 30 miles south of Downtown Chicago.

y that it has a good place, where it will be appreciated. It’s a fine piece of art,” said Nopar, whose grandfather Edward Fox founded the business in 1902. The studio is believed to be the second oldest photography business in the country.

Smillie said that removing the statue from the sidewalk on Milwaukee will not be easy, but Nopar, “being a photographer himself,” had meticulous photos taken on the installation in 1990 and those are being used to figure out how to best remove the statue. The base of the statue was secured to chains that were dropped several feet into concrete that was poured into the ground.

Jeff Fink, a nephew of the sculptor, participated in the statue’s installation 15 years ago, and he has agreed to help with its removal, Smillie said.

Nopar said that he hopes Bruce Fink, who is in his 70s, will be able to attend a dedication ceremony in Crete after the statue is installed. Fink also designed the 600-pound cast aluminum front door of the studio, but the fate of the door has not been determined, Nopar said.

Nopar, Jeff Fink and Crete Public Library District of Trustees treasurer Phyllis Monks visited the statue on July 1.