Maman Zurich; Zurich, Switzerland

Maman Zurich; Zurich, Switzerland

Sculptor: Louise Bourgeois
Year Complete: 1999
Height: +/- 30 ft.  (9.14 m)
Width: +/- 35 ft.  (10.67 m)
Materials: Bronze, Marble

This incredible sculpture was located on the Lake Zurich waterfront during the summer of 2011.  One of the largest and most prolific of outdoor sculptures, the sculpture has several casts with some in permanent exhibition and one traveling throughout Europe.

Key Details:

The sculpture evokes the form of a pregnant spider and carries 26 marble eggs within a metal sack that is clearly visible when standing beneath.  The massive size of the sculpture is overwhelming and is somewhat intimidating.  Regardless, the scale and form of the sculpture placed in the context of a street or plaza is so interesting that it draws a crowd.

Maman is a French nickname for mother.  Bourgeois created the sculpture as a tribute for his mother who was a restorer of tapestries; a weaver.  Although a massive spider may not immediately evoke a motherly image, Bourgeois believed that spiders are very nurturing creatures because of their ability to create woven habitats for their young and they eat disease-causing insects.

If You Go:

The Maman has been moved from its perch on Lake Zurich, but the lakefront is an incredible space regardless with a multitude of public art and people places.  The Maman is in permanent exhibition in London, Kansas City, Ottawa, St. Petersburg, Bilboa, Tokyo, Seoul, and Qatar.


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