Friday, December 17, 2010
At the dawn of the Jet Age, when people dressed up to travel and airlines presented menus, WorldPort architect Walther Prokosch commissioned sculptor Milton Hebald to create a dramatic gateway to New York and the United States. Hebald created the Zodiac Screen, a sculpture that’s fanciful creatures, symbolic of the passage of time and of our place in the cosmos, deserve to romp again in public view. WorldPort: The Pan Am terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy International airport was created in 1960, and in 1961 Hebald began creating the prolific sculpture that spanning at 24 by 220 feet would become the largest sculpture in the world. This would give people a lasting impression of their arrival and departure from the United States’ entryway to the world. Thirty-six years later, Pan Am filed for bankruptcy and the conservative Delta Airlines took over the terminal, ordering the historic sculpture to be removed. Now, after almost two decades, this treasure still rests in a hanger of the vast New York Port Authority awaiting return to its previous glory. The Zodiac Screen is Hebald’s legacy. Known for his various sculptures throughout the world, Hebald’s dream is to find the Zodiac Screen a new home. Created in bronze, there are 12 unique pieces, Aries, Aquarius, Cancer, Capricorn, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Pisces, Sagittarius, Scorpio, Taurus and Virgo. Each piece is a representation of Hebald’s vision, and his unique contemporary baroque style. The 91-year-old Hebald states, “The creation of this sculpture took the greater part of my life. I felt that it truly related to all people. For some it spoke to astrology, others history, but even more so it spoke of beauty, love, and aesthetic gratification. I have never been more proud of one of my creations. I can happily go to my resting place knowing that people can once again enjoy the Zodiac”.