University of Michigan Fountain

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

This fountain created in bronze was designed by Albin Palasek, a Chicago artist and sculptor. The sculptured drum sitting on a circular granite base offers three bubblers that spout water into recessed basins.

The sculptured bas-relief is a procession of classically dressed figures representing Youth, Labour, Poetry and Philosophy: boys playing musical instruments, a child with a basket of flowers flanked by women carrying water jugs, a young man with a scroll in his hand, a maiden with exposed breast, a shepherd with sheep, and a youth displaying a scroll containing Roman numerals (I to X) before a philosopher who is deep in thought.

A dedication is engraved around the top of the drum: Presented To The City Of Ann Arbor And To The University By Francis M. Hamilton, A Member Of The Class Of 1869 And Mayor Of Ann Arbor, 1905-1907.

Francis Hamilton bequeathed $1,000 to the city of Ann Arbor to erect a drinking fountain. Following his death in 1914 his family donated an additional $500 to cover the cost. The fountain was installed at the central campus of the University of Michigan on the corner of North University Avenue & State Street. It was unveiled at Commencement in 1919 on behalf of the class of 1869, and dedicated at the 50th anniversary of Hamilton’s graduation.


  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Bubbler, a fountain with a tap which ejects a stream of water



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: