MINNEAPOLIS, February 12 2015—The Walker Art Center is pleased to announce a number of sculptures from the institution’s collection on view in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden will temporarily relocate to the Weisman Art Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and Gold Medal Park this summer and remain on view during the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden Reconstruction Project.
Thanks to the support of the citizens of Minnesota, the state legislature, and Governor Mark Dayton, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board received $8.5 million in public bonding support to fund the much-needed reconstruction of this major cultural asset of the state. In addition, the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization has dedicated up to $1.5 million for innovative storm water management systems in the project. This will be the largest and most comprehensive work on the Garden since it opened in 1988 and will require its closure for up to a year and a half beginning in the fall of 2015.
Nearly all Garden artworks will be placed in storage during construction, but thanks to innovative partnerships with the Gold Medal Park Conservancy Fund, the MIA, and the Weisman, several of the most beloved sculptures will relocate through short- or long-term loans, and remain accessible to the public. The loans are renewable each year and the partnering organizations have agreed to the arrangement for up to 5 years, after which time the loans will be reevaluated.
Brower Hatcher’s Prophecy of the Ancients (1988), Mark di Suvero’s Molecule (1977-83), and Tony Cragg’s Ordovician Pore (1989) will be loaned short-term to Gold Medal Park, which sits adjacent to and reunites with the Guthrie Theater, the Garden’s former neighbor. Jacques Lipchitz’s Prometheus Strangling the Vulture II (1944/1953) will be loaned long-term to the MIA, aligning with the institution’s robust bronze collection, and Frank Gehry’s Standing Glass Fish (1986) will be on long-term loan to the Weisman, housed in the iconic Frank Gehry designed building on the University of Minnesota campus.
“We are thrilled so many cherished works will remain in the public eye,” said Weisman director Lyndel King. “The Frank Gehry Standing Glass Fish, in particular, will have a fitting home in Gehry’s first major museum project, the Weisman. Frank is working very closely on the work’s relocation and conservation.”
“It is beyond exciting to be a part of an innovative solution that is built on partnership with a focus on community,” added Wendy Nelson of the Gold Medal Park Conservancy Fund. “The opportunity to keep significant works on view for the public and to celebrate the historic connection between the Walker and the Guthrie with the sculptures again as neighbors—stunning, really. A perfect representation of why our city continues to thrive—collaborative leadership with a focus on WE. Gold Medal Park was honored to join in this community gift and message.”
Works currently installed in the Garden will be removed and transported to partner locations starting as early as June 2015.
“It’s important to all of us that some of the most beloved art works remain on public view while the Garden is under extensive reconstruction. We’re grateful to our local partners for making this possible,” said Olga Viso, the Walker’s Executive Director. “As a contemporary art center that champions new art and emerging artists, this project also presents an exciting opportunity for the Walker to add new artworks for the reopening in spring 2017, as we look forward to a renewed Minneapolis Sculpture Garden for the next generation and beyond.”
About the reconstruction project
In 1988, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board partnered with the Walker Art Center to develop the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, the first major urban sculpture park in the country. Today the Garden is one of the crown jewels of the park system, uniting two of Minnesota’s most cherished resources—its green space and its cultural life. The 11-acre site, home to the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry (1985-1988) by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, showcases more than 40 works from the Walker’s internationally renowned collections.
After 26 years and more than 9 million visitors, the Garden’s infrastructure needs to be reconstructed in a sustainable manner to serve visitors now and for generations to come. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden Reconstruction and Cowles Conservatory Renovation Project includes repairs to or replacement of infrastructure such as irrigation, drainage, and stormwater systems, walkways, retaining walls, and other physical assets. The project will require closure of the Garden for up to a year and a half during construction beginning in the fall of 2015. The project is led by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board in partnership with the Walker and the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization.
For more information and to sign up for timely email updates regarding the project, the public can visit: minneapolisparks.org/currentprojects.
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