Opened in 2009, the Gwen and Jules Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery provides 330,760 square feet of new research space for groundbreaking initiatives in the University of Chicago Division of Biological Sciences. This facility houses laboratories and office space for principal investigators, postdoctoral students, and graduate students in the departments of medicine and pediatrics, as well as the Comprehensive Cancer Center.
This sculpture commemorates the Knapp philanthropists. Chicagoans Jules and Gwen Knapp donated over $25 million toward construction of the 330,760-square-foot, 10-story, state-of-the-art Knapp Center. The sculpture is slightly larger than life and cast in bronze.
Gwen and Jules were a very down to earth couple, and having lost their own daughter to a rare disease, knew exactly what kind of sculpture needed to be funded. The couple wanted to create an inviting sculpture to assuage the fears of incoming patients. Along with the artist, the Knapps discussed at least six different compositions, including one of their own being presented. When artist, Gregory Johnson, proposed this one of them smiling and greeting the public, it was unanimous.
Project completed January 2009.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
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Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
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