In a move of regional collegiality, a sculpture of a bright blue rooster by artist Katharina Fritsch has now entered the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., where it has been on view on the museum’s east building roof terrace.
Glenstone, the private museum in nearby Potomac, Maryland, founded by ARTnews Top 200 Collectors Emily and Mitchell Rales, had offered the 14-foot-tall work Hahn/Cock (2013) as a long-term loan to the NGA since 2016, and ultimately decided to gift it to the D.C. institution.
According to a press release, the work was given “in honor of the resilience of the American people during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The sculpture is being illuminated on a nightly basis during the museum’s temporary closure of its east and west buildings, harkening back to its illumination in April 2020 as part of a campaign to recognize essential workers.
Fritsch created Hahn/Cock for the “Fourth Plinth” public art series in London’s Trafalgar Square in 2013. Using 3-D printing, the artist modeled the monumental sculpture after a taxidermy rooster.
Kaywin Feldman, the director of the National Gallery of Art, said in a statement, “Hahn/Cock has brought smiles to millions of faces since it first arrived as a loan to the National Gallery’s new sculpture terrace. … We look forward to the moment when our visitors and staff can once again commune with their favorite, uplifting blue rooster.”
In a joint statement, Emily Rales, who is Glenstone’s director, and Mitchell Rales, who serves at the NGA’s president, said, “Americans have endured unimaginable loss and hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. We chose to give this very special sculpture to the American people in their honor and as a symbol of the hope and renewal on the horizon.”