The Forum

The Story Behind The Florissant Valley

Taurus Sculpture

By: Vienna I. Austin

December 8, 2023

The Taurus sculpture by Tony Cragg close up on the Florissant Valley campus.

For years, the large black sculpture by Tony Cragg titled Taurus has been the centerpiece of the Florissant Valley campus. Sitting on a raised concrete platform between the Entry Loop, Student Center, Library, and Social Sciences building, the art piece divides the concrete walkways of the central region of campus, making it impossible for most students to miss.

The sculpture is part of a series by Cragg called Early Forms. This series consists of similar-looking and similarly made structures, all intending to, according to the artist, display the transformation of the mundane shapes of cultures.

Initially created in 1999, Taurus began its journey in Wuppertal, Germany, near the German-Dutch border. In Wuppertal, the structure was first carved out of sandstone before being transported to the nearby city of Dusseldorf. There, the then-sandstone sculpture was cast in bronze at a local foundry. Eventually, the piece was acquired by the Gateway Foundation of St. Louis, a local arts organization, and shipped across the ocean. The organization subsequently loaned the piece to STLCC for placement at Flo Valley.

The Gateway Foundation is responsible for many of the St. Louis region’s most prominent sculptures. Florissant Valley is just one of three STLCC campuses to host a Gateway Foundation art piece, with Meramec’s Gulliver sculpture, created by Tom Otterness, and Forest Park’s Weathered Venus sculpture, created by Jim Dine. The organization is also responsible for maintaining Citygarden, an urban sculpture park in downtown St. Louis, and other sculpture projects from the Botanical Garden to St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

Cragg’s works appear worldwide but are concentrated in his home state of North Rhine-Westphalia, home to Cologne, Aachen, Bonn, Dusseldorf, and Wuppertal.

Though it technically doesn’t belong to the school, Taurus has become a key part of this campus. No one knows how long Taurus will remain at Florissant Valley, but, for now, its journey has ended here.

To learn more about Tony Cragg and his body of work visit