By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Apr 15, 2020 at 2:02 PM

On a chilly Wednesday, artist Radcliffe Bailey's sculpture, "Pensive," returned to Milwaukee for installation in the plaza in front of the new BMO Tower, 790 N. Water St.

The 2013 work in bronze and wood by the Atlanta-based artist first appeared in Milwaukee as part of Sculpture Milwaukee last year.

In December, Milwaukee-based Irgens, developer of the BMO Tower, announced that Sue and Mark Irgens had purchased "Pensive" and would have it installed where it could be enjoyed by all.

Now, it sits facing the plaza, allowing savvy photographers to get interesting angles of "Pensive" contemplating City Hall, the BMO Tower ... or both.

"At Irgens, we prioritize public art with our projects," said Irgens CEO Mark Irgens. "Public art benefits the community at large, attracts talent and is a valuable amenity that sets apart our building and city.

"We couldn't be more proud to not only add aesthetic beauty to our cityscape, but to also tell the story of 'â€

"Pensive" – which harks back to Auguste Rodin's classic "The Thinker" – depicts landmark African-American writer, historian, journalist/editor, activist and sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois, who visited Milwaukee on at least one occasion – in January 1922 – to speak at Conservatory Hall in the Stephenson Building, which still stands at 756 N. Milwaukee St. (While here, Du Bois also attended a dinner in his honor at the Shorewood home of William Polacheck and his wife, activist and writer Hilda Satt Polacheck.)

The sculpture came back to Milwaukee on Wednesday after having been sent to Chicago for the addition of a new base. It arrived here in the back of a small box truck owned by Methods & Materials, Inc., the Chicago fine art installation firm that transported and installed "Pensive."

Here are some images from the installation:

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in an episode of TV's "Party of Five," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.