Chief Seattle Fountain

Chief Seattle Fountain

Where is it?

Tilikum Place (near 5th Ave. & Denny Way)

Location

2701 5th Ave
Seattle
WA 98121
USA

About the Artwork

A near-life-size historic bronze statue of Chief Seattle, the city's namesake, is the centerpiece of Tilikum Place Park. The artwork stands atop a roughly hewn stone pedestal inset with bear heads that spout water from their mouths into a pool below. The chief of the Suquamish and Duwamish tribes raises his hand in a gesture of greeting recalling the amicable relationship he established with early pioneers and explorers. The sculptor James Wehn, who later established the University of Washington's sculpture department, based his original plaster cast on the only surviving photographic portrait of the chief taken in 1865.

After a lengthy dispute about which foundry would cast the sculpture in bronze, it was finally unveiled on Founders' Day, Nov. 13, 1912, by Chief Seattle's great-great-granddaughter.

In 1975, artist Richard Beyer created the boulders in the fountain basin with Engineering Department 1% for Art funds.

Date

1912

Materials

Cast, gilded bronze. Granite (base).

Dimensions

(LIFE-SIZE)

Funding Source

City of Seattle Street and Sewer Department

Status

Installed

Type

Permanent

ID

ED75.110

Artist

James Wehn