417 Insider: The French Fry Statue

    The French Fry Statue

    (Photo from the Springfield Art Museum Facebook Page)

    We all know and love the legendary “French Fry Statue” that resides at the Springfield Art Museum off of S. National Ave. but very few of us probably know its true name or the history behind the sculpture.

    Sun Target II

    Okay, so I guess the “French Fry Statue” isn’t the sculpture’s “real” name, but we’ll probably stick to calling it that anyway. Its formal name is Sun Target II, and it was created in 1973 by John Henry.

    The sculpture has done quite a bit of traveling since 1973. It first debuted in Grant Park in Chicago as part of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Sculpture in the Park exhibition. After Chicago, it made its way to Riverside Park in New York. After New York it decided to move south and make its way to Atlanta to be apart of an exhibition curated by art dealer and gallerist Max Hutchinson (source).

    Finally, in 1980, Sun Target II decided to settle down and move to Springfield, Mo. permanently.

    The Famous French Fries

    #SaveTheFrenchFries

    In 2016, the Springfield Art Museum came up with the #SaveTheFrenchFries Campaign in an effort to create awareness and raise money to restore the French Fry sculpture. The museum encouraged people to post photos and memories on social media with the hashtag #SaveTheFrenchFries in order to help create awareness for their fundraising campaign that would take place on Give Ozarks Day 2016. Give Ozarks Day is a 24-hour online fundraising event hosted by The Community Foundation of the Ozarks that raises money for nonprofit organizations in the community. The campaign was successful, and they raised enough money to restore the sculpture as well as others at the museum.

    French Fry Statue T-Shirts

    That’s right, you can even get a shirt with the French Fry Statue on it! This holiday season, Five Pound Apparel created a series of holiday t-shirts, and one even featured the famous sculpture on it-covered in Christmas lights of course! There are still some shirts available here!

    The Springfield Art Museum

    If you’re interested in viewing this sculpture, and the other exhibits they are located at the Springfield Art Museum! Entry is free, but donations are accepted and very appreciated. To view their hours, and to learn more click here!

     

    -GSR

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