If you enter Forest Park from Hampton Avenue, you can't miss it. It's 130 feet long, 36 feet high and 100 tons of Cor-Ten steel. Animals Always is the largest sculpture at any public zoo in the United States. The sculpture features over 60 animals peeking out from behind sculpted trees, ferns and other plant life. The sculptor, Albert Paley, conceived the idea of this steel menagerie more than two years when he met St. Louisan Thelma Zalk, who wanted to bring the idea to fruition at the Saint Louis Zoo. Paley worked closely with Zoo staff to represent animals that are featured at the Saint Louis Zoo. Many of the animals, fish and plant life depicted are also endangered to inspire future generations to protect our natural world.
This is the first representational and most complex work for Albert Paley who has completed more than 50 works for both public and private institutions over his 30 year career. Other Paley pieces can be found in the permanent collections of major museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
This significant cultural addition to the Zoo, Forest Park and the St. Louis region is made possible by two generous gifts from St. Louisans Thelma Zalk and the Steven F. Schankman family. Zalk donated $1 million for the sculpture and the Schankman family donated $1 million for the plaza around
Come See the Steel Menagerie
Animals Always can be found at the southeast corner of the Zoo at the intersection of Wells and Hampton avenues, as a welcome to visitors headed for the Zoo and Forest Park. You can visit the sculpture by exiting the Zoo's south entrance and walking up the sidewalk to Hampton Avenue.