When I first saw them as we were driving through the park on Credit Island in Iowa, they somehow seemed familiar. We parked, got out of the car and wandered through the statues.
It’s almost, but not quite, like being in the middle of a famous painting, “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” by Georges Seurat. The 7 by 10 feet painting was first exhibited in 1889.
I actually remember this painting from my single college art class, Art History. It is one of the earliest example of an art technique known as pointillism, developed by Seurat and Paul Signac.
The 10 carved wooden sculptures based on Georges Seurat’s painting were installed in 1998 on Davenport’s Credit Island as one of nine Riverway art projects around the Quad-Cities. The statues have undergone several major refurbishings to repair damage caused by interior wood rot, insects, vandals and weathering. In recent years, damage has included a head falling off of one statue and a bullet through the chest of another.
We stumbled across the statues on Credit Island on the afternoon of September 25, 2012. Camped at a nearby KOA on our way home from a Wisconsin visit, we were doing a little exploring in the Davenport area.
The statues are removed and stored during the winter and if the area is threatened with flooding.
One of the most recent fix-ups included a heavy-duty urethane coating, along with new bases and concrete pads.