“Crack The Whip” Bronze Sculpture
This bronze sculpture is outside on the South East side of the Lincoln National Life Building in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana and has been there for 20 or so years.
Honestly, when I first saw the sculpture, I thought of the stories from we were told in grade school about Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the atomic bomb was dropped and people incinerated where they stood. I pray that never happens again anywhere in the world ever again.
I thought the children were running for their lives to try to escape, but didn’t make it and were burned to a crisp while still in motion. I found it a morbid thing to have outside a life insurance company, but also compelling as it is so detailed and does capture the essence of children frozen (or burned) in time.
It turns out it is a sculpture of children playing an outdoor running game.
It was created by artist/sculptor John Seward Johnson, Jr and is entitled “Crack the Whip”.
The description on the Smithsonian’s website advised the sculpture depicts:
“Eight children playing crack the whip. Grouped in a semi-circle, the figures include a young girl in dress, stumbling; next to a boy wearing a cap and blue jeans; a boy wearing shorts, facing the opposite direction and bending backwards on the verge of a fall; a gril in a dress and vest looking forward, a boy wearing jeans and baseball cap with brim turned upl a girl in skirt and blouse facing backward, an African-American boy, and a boy leading the group, looking back towards his playmates”.
I had never heard of that game before, but Wikipedia describes it as a children’s game dating back to 1890’s England. It is played by children holding hands and running with the first person being the head of whip and runs in different directions and those that fall down are to try to grab on to the end.
Location: 1400 South Harrison Street, Fort Wayne, IN