Cloud Gate, "The Bean"
The Cloud Gate is commonly known as “The Bean” because of its kidney-bean shape.
Backstory and Context
Born in India, Anish Kapoor (b. 1954) has lived and worked in London since the 1970s. Kapoor has recently emerged as one of the most influential sculptors of his generation. His work represents a fascination with darkness and light, radiance, and fluid reflections. Cloud Gate is his first outdoor permanent installation in the United States.
Cloud Gate stands thirty-three feet high and sixty-six feet long. Made of 168 stainless steel plates that were created in California over a period of two years, the sculpture was assembled on site in Chicago. With 2200 lineal feet of continuous welding, Cloud Gate received “The Extraordinary Welding Award” from the American Welding Society.
Though initially estimated to cost $6 million, Millennium Park’s iconic sculpture ended up costing nearly four times that figure. Private and corporate donations covered the entire cost of the artwork. Mayor Richard M. Daley declared May 15, 2006, the day of its official dedication, as “Cloud Gate Day.” In celebration, jazz trumpeter Orbert Davis composed “Fanfare for Cloud Gate” for the ceremonies.