Summer in Chicago means thousands of tourists flocking to Millennium Park to see Anish Kapoor's acclaimed sculpture Cloud Gate, more popularly known as “The Bean”. Love it or hate it, Chicagoans have come to recognize that Cloud Gate is a major draw for our city. Aside from the fact that it is shiny and you can see yourself in it, the $23 million artwork has the distinction of being one of the most expensive public sculptures in the world. At 110 tons, the massive monument is constructed entirely of stainless steel, and is engineered to withstand the shrinking and expansion caused by Chicago’s extreme temperatures. Cloud Gate was in place for the opening of Millennium Park in 2004, but structural welding was not completed until the following summer.
Anish Kapoor, catalog from the 2008 exhibition at Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art, includes the essay “Being With Cloud Gate” by a Chicago curator who walks past the sculpture every day on her way to work. It also includes other selected works, and an interview with the famed, Indian-born, London-based sculptor.
The creation of Cloud Gate and other amazing works of art, architecture and landscape is chronicled in Cheryl Kent's Millennium Park Chicago.
The Cloud Gate maquette, AKA "The Baby Bean" resides on the 8th floor of the Harold Washington Library Center and is part of the Millennium Park, Inc. Archives. See park construction photos in the Millennium Park Digital Collection.