The NYPL Lions

“Patience” and “Fortitude” are the two lions “guarding” the main branch of the New York Public Library (5th Ave. and 42nd St.). They are by all measure, majestic.

They also make a good counterpoint to our investigation of Guelph’s icons.

According to a recent article (“Birthing the New York Public Library Lions” by Jake Rossen), these New York favourites weren’t so popular at first …. and they weren’t even called Patience and Fortitude! The meaning and identities of the lions grew over time. They “become” something else as the city needed them. Statues are never just statues.

A final curiosity, like the #StationaryCrew, both lions are on Twitter (@PatienceNYPL and @FortitudeNYPL). Unlike the Crew, both these accounts have “protected tweets” – you need their permission to follow them.

The Begging Bear had an observation when I noted this:


Getting Some Attention

Week 1 of the Project brought some unexpected, but delightful, attention. Andrew Vowles, columnist for the Guelph Mercury, wrote a story about the course: “Iconic Guelph Statues Receiving Extra Attention.”

Andrew provided an excellent reminder of what these icons are and how the course is trying to “uncover” them in a new way.

Things also heated up in the Twitterverse. OK, we hardly went viral, but we did get new followers and initiated some good discussion.

Guelph Arts CouncilSome of that was with the Guelph Arts Council. It turns out they have some resources (including photos) that will be helpful. We’re delighted to have the GAC involved.

As Andrew mentions, this course is really about the nature of community. Why are these objects so important to us? What do they mean for the city?

And these questions will get the students out into the community, researching the icons and their context , talking with people in Guelph, chatting to the icons on Twitter, and, most importantly, discovering why statues are never really just statues.

Let the conversations continue.

…Mike Ridley, Instructor

The #StationaryCrew

What can a cannon, a bear, a gryphon, a fountain, a blacksmith, a poet, a solider, and a pile of garbage tells us about Guelph and its citizens?

Let’s find out. Welcome to the #StationaryCrew Project.


Or as  one of the #StationaryCrew, The Begging Bear, refers to them:

Follow the #StationaryCrew project on Twitter:

And you can always tweet to the entire #StationaryCrew:

Enjoy the project.

…Mike Ridley, Instructor

Exploring Our Favourite Guelph Stationary Icons