Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is 25

Happy 25th Birthday Minneapolis Sculpture Garden!

Sorry, I forgot to inform you of the original air date of tpt’s history of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. It premiered last Sunday evening on tpt/MN. The half-hour documentary was made to celebrate the 25th birthday of an extraordinary public space.

The program will air again at various times throughout the summer. Check tpt schedules or watch it here.

Producer Mark Fischer and executive producer Tom Trow did an excellent job telling the story; they even let me be in it!

The Sculpture Garden was a collaboration between the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, which owns and maintains the land, and the Walker Art Center, which designed the garden and selected the sculptures. It’s a Minnesota treasure.

The following photos show the transformation of part of the Sculpture Garden when the Armory Garden was created in 1913.

The southern half of the Sculpture Garden site before it was designated to become a garden in 1913.

The southern half of the Sculpture Garden site before it was designated to become a garden in 1913, looking southwest, Armory in background, Walker Art Center site at left, Lyndale Avenue in lower left, Kenwood Parkway, now closed at right. (Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board)

Teh same site as above ready for plantin gfor the 1913 convention of the Society of Amrican Florists and Ornamental Horticulturists

The same site as above ready for planting for the 1913 convention of the Society of American Florists and Ornamental Horticulturists. (Minneapolis Collection, Hennepin Country Library)

The 1913 garden adjacent to the Armory, looking southwest from intersection of Lyndale Avenue, coming in from left and Kenwood Parkway, at right. The photo was taken from the Palace Hotel between the Parade and Loring Park. The garden is now part of fhe Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

The 1913 Armory Garden. The photo was taken from the Palace Hotel between The Parade and Loring Park. (Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board)

Whether you love the Sculpture Garden, or don’t really care, it is a remarkable use of parkland — one of many examples in the Minneapolis park system. As I said in the video, I think the transformation of one corner of a recreation park into an art park is a remarkable example of how the use of public land can — and should — change over time. It’s another tribute to the wisdom of those who envisioned the park system and the need to set aside land for public enjoyment. Because we own the land, we can adapt its use to meet our needs, however they may be defined and redefined. Brilliant!

The same land in the photos above, but shot from the south. (Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board)

The same land in the photos above, but seen from the south. (Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board)

When’s the last time you visited the Sculpture Garden? Maybe it’s time to take another look.

David C. Smith

© 2013 David C. Smith

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