Janosova's "Cow-to Book" A Tercentennial Surprise

- Bulldogs won’t be the only members of the animal kingdom featured at the opening of Yale University’s Tercentennial on Saturday, October 21.

Tercentennial Open House visitors will be among the first to see Connecticut artist Zora Janosova’s “Cow-to Book,” a cheerful and bookish example of public art recently acquired by Yale’s Sterling Memorial Library at a charity auction and presented to the University as a decidedly lighthearted tercentennial gift. In its first venue, “Cow-to Book” will be seen on Hewitt Quadrangle near the entrance to the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library located on Wall Street.

Those familiar with CowParade won’t be mystified by the appearance of this fiberglass bovine, decorated with a book theme and acquired by the library at the auction held on September 29 in New York City. In CowParade, a herd of fiberglass cows, fashioned after the Brown Swiss breed, are manufactured, decorated by artists and then exhibited in open-to-the-public places around the host city. Tourists and residents alike delight in locating the many varied cows.

At the conclusion of the exhibit, the cows are auctioned off with the proceeds going to charity. According to CowParade organizers, the September auction of 75 cows in New York City raised over $1.35 million for several city charities. Throughout October, additional cows are being auctioned on the Web.

CowParade began in 1998 in Zurich as an opportunity to showcase the local arts community while encouraging visitors to visit the downtown area. The event was overwhelmingly successful, and at the urging of a local businessman, Chicago became the first city in the United States to host the event. This summer, New York City, Stamford, Conn., and West Orange, N.J., hosted CowParade.

While the statue will begin its campus presence in a fittingly literary location near the Beinecke, library and University representatives envision that the fiberglass figure will move to new campus and New Haven venues periodically.