Minnetrista Sculpture – Waterbaby Fountain
I can hardly believe that it’s September. Before the leaves begin to fall in earnest and autumn is officially here, drop over to the Children’s Garden near Oakhurst and make the acquaintance of the bronze baby in the fish pond.
The Boy and Lily Pads Fountain, which was sculpted by Brenda Putnam in 1916, is a celebration of youth and the close connection that continues to exist between man and nature. The smiling bronze baby is shown reclining on a bed of lily pads while water spurts from several water lily blossoms set around him.
Putnam was born in 1890 in Minneapolis. After studying art in Boston, New York City, and Washington, D.C., she gained success creating portraits and garden fountains which featured cherubs and animals. Around 1925, she traveled to Florence, Italy, where she embraced the Art Deco movement. Today, her sculptures can be seen at the U.S. Capitol, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina.
This charming fountain originally graced a small pool next to the driveway marquee on the north side of Minnetrista, the Frank C. Ball family home. Later, it belonged to Mr. Ball’s daughter, Margaret Ball Petty.
If you want to see the Boy and Lily Pads Fountain, don’t wait too long. This happy little guy doesn’t like ice and snow, so he heads inside for the winter months. But don’t worry, he’ll be back again next spring. The Children’s Garden wouldn’t be the same without him.