Per historian Trish Morse: "Elizabeth Haseltine working on the fawn statue that would sit atop the David Wallach Fountain at Promontory Point. Her husband, Frederick Hibbard, designed the granite base."
As with so many women, it’s hard to find information about Elizabeth Haseltine (1894-1950). I have been looking because she’s the artist who created my favorite Hyde Park public art, the fawn on the top of the David Wallach fountain. Her husband, Frederick C. Hibbard (1881-1950) designed the base. I love the contrast of the naturalistic fawn and the Art Deco base. David Wallach had died in 1894, leaving $5000 (about $150,000 in today’s money) to the city for a fountain at the intersection of 55th Street and Lake Shore Drive (then a pleasant carriage way wending along the lake’s edge). The stipulation was that it be a fountain for “man and beast” though the beast he was thinking of was horses. Nothing happened. Finally, David Wallach’s grandchildren sued the Park District in the 1930s for an accounting of what happened to the money. The Park District grudgingly agreed to commission a fountain and give the heirs the accumulated interest. Of course the configuration of the Drive and the lakefront had changed drastically and the Drive was devoted entirely to cars, so they defined “beast” as birds and dogs. The Tribune huffed that you could lead a horse to this fountain, but there was nowhere for a horse to drink—but in fact I’ve seen a horse drink from it. Oddly a Committee of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion tried to get the location changed to 47th and the Drive but the will was quite specific about the location. The commission for the fountain went to Frederick Hibbard and Elizabeth Haseltine of 1201 East 60th Street. They had both studied with Lorado Taft and were living near the Midway Studios. She taught at the Art Institute and the University of Chicago. She specialized in statues of animals, studying the animals at Lincoln Park Zoo for inspiration. Fawns sleep tucked up under brush when their mothers are off foraging. They won't move until their mothers return. The fountain was dedicated in December 1939. Haseltine also had three sculptures in the newly finished 1935 Japanese garden: a squirrel, a kingfisher, and a great blue heron carved out of tulipwood and placed near the waterfall entering the lily pond. She exhibited regularly in a large annual art show. The Tribune critic called her statue of a cat “whimsical” and “clever.” One year she showed Pegasus as a colt. The Tribune critic said, “This is one of the most graceful and admirable figures one could find in a year’s search. It is delicate, true, simple, and fascinating.” Which is what I feel about the fawn.