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Saint Louis Art Museum to Open Sculpture Garden in Spring 2015
The Saint Louis Art Museum has begun construction of a new sculpture garden that will be installed with masterworks from the collection, including Aristide Maillol's The Mountain (shown above), and more than 450 new trees.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), December 14, 2014 - Visitors to the Saint Louis Art Museum can watch progress on the new sculpture garden being installed on the south area of the East Building. Scheduled to open Spring 2015, the garden will provide a unique view of masterworks from the Museum's collection and more than 450 new trees.
The transformative project immediately south of the museum is made possible by a $5 million gift from Barbara B. Taylor, president of the Saint Louis Art Museum Board of Commissioners, and Andrew C. Taylor, executive chairman of St. Louis-based Enterprise Holdings, Inc.
"Andy and I take great pleasure in supporting the Saint Louis Art Museum's vision of connecting visitors with world-class sculpture in a distinctive way," said Barbara Taylor. "This new sculpture garden will be a beautiful and significant addition to the Museum, as well as to Forest Park."
Saint Louis Art Museum Director Brent R. Benjamin said the gift will be used to pay the cost of construction, establish an endowment to support future maintenance of the garden, and fund additional outdoor improvements to be determined after the completion of the project in spring 2015.
"Barbara and Andy's generosity will allow the Museum to take works from its collection outside its walls and create a unique and enriching experience of art in nature for our visitors," Benjamin said. "We are grateful for this generous gift that will connect the Museum with its spectacular Forest Park setting and benefit generations to come."
The new sculpture garden will complete the phased landscape plan designed by Paris-based Michel Desvigne in coordination with the Museum's new East Building.
Honored with the Medal of the French Academy of Architecture (2000) the French national Urbanism Grand Prize (2011), Desvigne's landscape projects include Millennium Park in London's Greenwich Peninsula, Luxemburg's Draï Eechelen Park and the New Qatar National Museum in Doha.
The garden will be installed with works in the Museum's collection, including sculpture by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Aristide Maillol, and Mathias Gasteiger, and will complement Stone Sea, a work by Andy Goldsworthy commissioned by the Museum in 2012. The plan calls for two water features, in addition to the planting of more than 450 trees.
Desvigne designed the sculpture garden, as well as already completed landscape improvements, in concert with Sir David Chipperfield's design of the Art Museum's East Building, which opened in summer 2013.
The East Building, designed by Sir David Chipperfield, at the Saint Louis Art Museum, features floor-to-ceiling windows and 23 monumental panels of dark polished concrete, with highlights of Missouri river aggregates. See related story: Saint Louis Art Museum Unveils Contemporary East Building
The Saint Louis Art Museum is one of the leading art museums with more than 100 galleries. The building was designed by famed architect Cass Gilbert as the Palace of Fine Arts for the 1904 World's Fair in Forest Park. Standing atop Art Hill, it is the "crown" jewel" of the 1,370-acre park. The Grand Basin is the lake at the foot of Art Hill and served as the focal point of the 1904 World's Fair.
Crusader King Louis IX in front of the Saint Louis Art Museum
The Museum's collections feature more than 30,000 art treasures from ancient times to the present. Highlights include art of the Renaissance, masterpieces of Impressionism, American European Art, Asian art, Period Rooms, the Egyptian mummy, and world-renowned collections of pre-Columbian and German Expressionist art.
The Museum provided $10 million for improvements to Art Hill and nearby areas including: reconstruction of Fine Arts Drive in the front of the Museum between the front stairway and the statue of St. Louis; the street and the area around the landmark statue is now paved with granite; construction of two curved, tree-lined walkways, or promenades, extending about 250 yards in each direction from the statue of St. Louis to the existing circular parking areas; construction of scenic overlooks near the expanded circular parking areas; landscaping of the two promenades and of the entire area with ornamental trees and decorative lighting; and new parking adjacent to the scenic overlooks.
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 am-5:00 pm; Friday, 10:00 am-9:00 pm; Closed Monday. For more information, call 314-721-0072. Admission to the Saint Louis Art Museum is free. Admission to featured exhibitions is free on Friday.
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