This gate-keeper grotesque glares threateningly downward to the left. It is also nearly covered by ivy, a situation that I find unfortunate. Ivy may claim nearly unassailable status on most campuses, but should it be allowed to swallow up these delightful sculptures? I hope not!
At the top right, the other gate-keeper figure looks upward to the right, mouth open and tongue out, as if ready to challenge whatever the heavens may provide.
The photograph on the left in the second row shows all five of the grotesques visible on the left side of the Cobb Gate pediment.
The photo to the right features the five grotesques that are visible from the right side of Cobb Gate.
The first photograph in the third row is focused on the three figures at the the top of the gate’s pediment. The two third-year grotesques have almost – but not quite – reached their goal. This may allow looking around a bit or snarling at perceived threats.
The grand senior complacently sits at the very top, fully fledged and looking forward to whatever comes next. Is that a knot of hair or a crown that graces the senior’s head?
On the bottom left, a first-year grotesque scrambles toward the top. Note the remains of the ivy vines visible in this late-winter photograph.
A bewildered first-year grotesque pauses momentarily on its upward journey. This appears to be the only grotesque – except for the senior and the two gate keepers – with wings.
It is a great pleasure to note that the ivy has been removed from the grotesques on the north face of Cobb Gate at the University of Chicago. Thanks to the University for making these iconic sculptures fully visible to all.