I never pass by the Giant Frog sculpture on the Northeast side of Rittenhouse Square without stopping to say hello or to pat his head. He’s become almost a pal – I’m so fond of him. Sometimes he’s been decorated with colored chalk by an enterprising child (he is clearly loved by children of all ages) but remains solid and regal nevertheless, as he oversees the park with his bulging eyes.
The sculptor, Cornelia Van A, Chapin (1893-1972) was from Waterford, Connecticut and is remembered mostly for her stone carvings of birds and animals which she typically sculpted directly from life without first sketching or modeling her pieces (pretty impressive!) Her Giant Frog was purchased for the park by Philadelphia’s Association for Public Art in 1941.
He is a serious frog and one can feel the artist’s respect for him in the solid granite and in his size. Sometimes I refer to him as the Frog King of Rittenhouse.