Outdoor Sculpture


 (317) 631-3301 ext. 214

 40 E. St. Clair Street, Indianapolis, IN, 46204

This two-part sculpture was created by internationally-recognized artist Peter Shelton, in response to a commission offer from the private Indianapolis-Marion County Library Foundation.  Shelton was selected by a curatorial team who combed through lists of artists and invited several to interview with them.  Although he had never made bronze sculptures in his life, Shelton partnered with a foundry and engineering consultants to design and fabricate the piece.

Both artworks are made of cast bronze reinforced with stainless steel.  thinman is on the west side of the south face of Central Library’s Cret Building, and is in the form of a 40-ft-tall, very thin, headless human figure.  littlebird is on the east side of the south face of the Cret Building, and is a plump torus resembling an inflated inner tube with a life-sized sparrow perched on its outer edge. Both figures seem to defy gravity, and their surfaces are rich and textured.  According to the artist, the figures have no agenda, no narrative and no symbolism:  they are simply forms that the artist liked.

The sculpture’s design was controversial:  members of the public expressed anger that the neoclassical-style facade of the Cret Building, previously constructed with empty sculpture plinths that were never filled until thinmanlittlebird was commissioned, did not receive artwork that was more traditional-looking.  Nevertheless, thinmanlittlebird won a prestigious mention in the Public Art Network’s national Year in Review compilation, in 2010.


Read more about the artist and the artwork at and 

Medium type: Bronze

Date created: 2009

Location Info

40 E. St. Clair Street

40 E. St. Clair Street, Indianapolis, IN, 46204