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Know Your City no. 93 – Prometheus statue

Know Your City no. 93 – Prometheus statue

Feb. 17, 1956: This Bruce Cox image of the Prometheus statue appeared in the Feb. 18, 1956, Los Angeles Times. The original caption reported:

KNOW YOUR CITY, NO. 93 – This may be rather difficult. Even if you recognize the figure in the statue, you may not know where it stands. But it is a very prominent spot and, what’s more, has been there more than 20 years. See Page 26, Part 2.

ANSWER: Figure in the statue is Prometheus, a mythical Greek deity, who was friend and benefactor of mankind and who, according to legend, brought fire by stealing it from the sun in a fennel stalk. The statue was created by Nina Saemundsson and, since its dedication in 1935, has stood at the corner of MacArthur Park facing the busy intersection of Wilshire Blvd. and Alvarado St. only a few feet away.

This image was part of the Know Your City photography series that was published in 1955-56 Los Angeles Times.

Based on a clay version of the statue (photo below), on July 27, 1934, a bronze reproduction was approved under the Federal Public Works of Arts Project.

July 1923: Artist Nina Saemundsson working on statue of Prometheus Bringing Fire to Earth in her studio. This photo was published in the July 28, 1934 Los Angeles Times.

July 1923: Artist Nina Saemundsson working on clay version of statue. On July 27, 1934, a bronze version of Prometheus Bringing Fire to Earth was commissioned. This photo was published in the July 28, 1934 Los Angeles Times. Credit: Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive/UCLA.

Oct. 27, 2105: Statue of Prometheus by Nina Saemundsson in MacArthur Park in Los Angeles.

Oct. 27, 2015: Nine foot tall Prometheus statue in MacArthur Park. Credit: Scott Harrison/Los Angeles Times.

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