Slice of Life: No One Bitten At Wreathing Of The Lions

Art Institute of Chicago lion

Standing on a frigid Black Friday morning alongside a couple of hundred other animal lovers, I came up with a joke.

Art Institute of Chicago lionQuestion: How do you put a wreath on a lion?
Answer: Very carefully.

I realize this probably won’t get me an audition at Second City. But when the lions are quite huge and made of bronze, perhaps it’s still a fitting answer. They’ve been standing guard in front of the Art Institute of Chicago (111 South Michigan Avenue) since 1893, but 2014 is only the 23rd year the lions have been wreathed to mark the holiday season.

On hand this morning was also a non-wreathed lion: A gentleman (or lady) in a lion suit, glad-pawing with the crowd. It was the Art Institute’s mascot, Artie, who I’m pretty sure could take White Sox mascot Southpaw handily in arm-wrestling.


Author: Bill Motchan

Bill Motchan is a writer and photographer, and a former resident of the West Loop. He can be reached at

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