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Walker Art Center celebrates 25th anniversary of Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

— May 2013

Associated media

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Spoonbridge and Cherry, 1985–8 aluminum, stainless steel, paint, 354 x 618 x 162 in. Collection Walker Art Center Gift of Frederick R. Weisman in honour of his parents, William and Mary Weisman, 1988 Photo courtesy

Drawing more than 325,000 visitors each year, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is one of the Twin Cities’ most-loved destinations. The Garden celebrates its 25th anniversary in summer 2013 with a special series of performances, family programmes, film screenings, and other events beginning in May and running through September 2013.

Anniversary programming will feature the highly popular Artist-Designed Mini Golf, last presented in 2008. Two seven-hole courses, with a shared 8th hole, feature Garden-themed mini-golf holes designed by Minnesotan architects, artists, and designers.

The anniversary celebration will culminate with the opening of the exhibition ‘Claes Oldenburg: The Sixties’, the largest exhibition to date focusing on groundbreaking and emblematic early work from one of Pop’s most widely admired artists. The exhibition, organized by MUMOK (Museum Moderner Kunst) in Vienna, opens at the Walker on 21 September 2013 in conjunction with ‘Avant Garden’, the Walker’s annual benefit staged in the Sculpture Garden. Oldenburg, with his late wife, Coosje van Bruggen, also designed the Sculpture Garden’s iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry.

Since opening in 1988, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden has become one of the Twin Cities’ most popular and acclaimed attractions, with over eight million visits in its 25 years. One of the largest urban sculpture parks in the United States, it features four 100-foot-square plazas containing works by leading American and international artists; the Cowles Conservatory, which houses seasonal plantings and a glass-and-wood sculpture, Standing Glass Fish, by California architect Frank Gehry; the 29-foot-high fountain-sculpture Spoonbridge and Cherry, designed for the Garden by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, which has become a visual landmark of the Twin Cities; the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge, a 375-foot-long footbridge designed by Twin Cities-based artist Siah Armajani, which spans 16 lanes of traffic and connects the Garden to Loring Park; and, in the expanded north end of the Garden, the Arlene Grossman Memorial Arbor and Flower Garden. The 11.2-acre Garden is a joint project of the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

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