Mourning Francisco González Gragera, creator of Capricho de Cotrina

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Act Now: Save The Last Resort - A Working Model of Sustainability in Marin County, CA

Posted in Take Action, Threatened Environments

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Here’s your opportunity to voice your support David Hoffman’s The Last Resort house in Luganitas, a community in the Bay Area’s Marin County, California.

By signing the petition at this link, you are supporting the reinstatement of the Marin County Architectural Commission resolution that all 36 structures on the 2-acre property of David Lee Hoffman in Lagunitas constitute a cultural and historic landmark of local importance.

 

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From the petition:

We feel that David is a visionary who, during the past 40 years, has created solutions to climate change issues that we face as a global community. These solutions lie in the very structures and systems that stand to be destroyed if the Commission’s unanimous ruling continues to be discounted or ignored. We believe the demolition of his work would severely endanger the health, safety, beauty and tranquility of Marin County - and the potential for large-scale solutions that David’s innovation provides.

Be sure to sign the petition today, and show your support for this dynamic ecologically-minded site!

 

And below, see a preview of the the documentary film being made about the threat against this site, for which SPACES Director Jo Farb Hernández was interviewed. Read more about SPACES participation here.

  

The Last Resort: Call To Action from A.J. Marson on Vimeo.

SEARCH: Executive Director, Friends of Fred Smith (Wisconsin Concrete Park)

Posted in Take Action
wismithfoster012-environmentslideenlarge-1024-1024Robert Foster, 1989.

Fans and advocates of Fred Smith’s Wisconsin Concrete Park in Phillips, Wisconsin should consider applying immediately (there is a short turn-around) for the Executive Director opening for the site’s non-profit institution, the Friends of Fred Smith, Inc. Read the entire announcement below:

 

THE FRIENDS OF FRED SMITH, INC.

Job Opening: Executive Director

In cooperation with Price County, the Friends of Fred Smith, Inc., exists to support the 16 acre Wisconsin Concrete Park and the 237 concrete and glass sculptures created by self-taught artist and retired lumberjack, Fred Smith.  Under the direction of the FoFS Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, the Friends of Fred Smith Executive Director will promote and fulfill the mission and financial objectives of the Friends of Fred Smith, Inc., “… to preserve the Wisconsin Concrete Park and all its resources, including sculptures, landscape, and the Smith Family House, and develop the site as a public educational and cultural facility.”

The Friends of Fred Smith, Inc. (FoFS) seeks a leader who shares our passion for the art of Fred Smith, who believes that creative expression and visual and performing arts are necessary for quality of life and innovative, economic vitality.

 

FoFS values strong, positive and transparent collaborations with several community partners and strives to provide to the public, cultural, historical and artistic resources which have the capacity to broaden our views, expand our collective and individual potentials and bring people together for the common good.

 

To this end, the responsibilities of the Executive Director are as follows:


General Communications

  • Facilitate 2-3 board meetings per year and arrange quarterly Executive and Finance Committee meetings and monthly Educational Programming Committee meetings.

  • Coordinate and produce an Annual Report.

  • Represent and advocate for FoFS and the Wisconsin Concrete Park to the general public.

  • Collaborate with other non-profit and statewide organizations to create a sense of a common good for area residents and promote the FoFS mission.

  • Develop promotional package and ongoing communication with foundation management companies.

  • Develop a good working relationship with all board members. Work closely with the FoFS President to identify organizational needs and facilitate board oversight.

  • Work closely with Conservation Committee Chair to support site preservation; serve as liaison with area technicians.

  • Develop a good working relationship with the Price County Board of Supervisors and heads of the county departments of Forestry and Parks, Tourism and Buildings and Grounds.

 

Fund Raising

  • Expand grant support for FoFS activities and general operating support.

  • Develop a Donor Database.

  • Establish relationships with current Foundations that support FoFS; seek additional foundation support.

  • With the Administrative Assistant, develop and assist in coordinating annual membership drives and fund raising efforts.

  • Working with the Finance Committee, develop a long range strategy for fund raising and long term financial stability.

 

Education, Programming, Events

  • Develop and coordinate activities with area schools.

  • Coordinate Heritage Days, Annual Celebration of Arts in Action and other events held at the Park.

  • Identify community needs and desires to coordinate the educational programming at the park throughout the year in accordance with the FoFS Mission.

  • Develop advanced programming which will provide ongoing educational opportunities in specific media as well as a revenue stream for FoFS.

  • Research other possible venues to serve area residents through introducing the arts into everyday life.

 

Bookkeeping/Clerical

  • Develop and update a digital bookkeeping system including a check book ledger, income and expense spreadsheets, quarterly reports, and profit and loss statements.

  • Develop an annual budget and review with Finance Committee.

  • Handle all accounts payable and receivable.

  • Perform all payroll duties including withholdings and payments to staff, recording data for tax purposes, and overseeing payments to state and federal authorities. Cooperate fully with FoFS accountant to meet all financial and reporting obligations of the organization.

  • Record and track all details and listservs of workshops participants, events, memberships, fund raisers, donors, donations and inventory.

  • Respond to all inquiries in a timely fashion.

  • Work with Administrative Assistant to develop promotional graphics and avenues of dissemination including social media.

 

Volunteerism

  • Develop and coordinate volunteerism in conjunction with the Administrative Assistant and FoFS Committees:  Promotion and Educational Programming, Buildings and Grounds, Finance, Fund Raising and Membership, and Conservation.

  • Pursue collaborations with youth groups to involve them in the Park and instill a sense of “giving back” to the greater community.

 

Supervision

  • Identify organizational needs and initiate recruitment, training and financial sustainability of new employee positions.

  • Supervise staff as may be necessary to achieve the long term goals of FoFS.

 

ATTRIBUTES AND EXPERIENCE 

Requisite Experience and Skills

  • Applicant must have a deep appreciation for the life and art of Fred Smith, and believe that all forms of creative expression are necessary to the enhancement and quality of everyday life.

  • Congenial personality, must enjoy working with people of all ages.

  • Excellent organizational, leadership, and financial management skills.

  • Solid interpersonal and collaborative experience.

  • Proficient with all Microsoft Office programs, especially Excel, Publisher and Outlook.

  • Proficient in internet and social media platforms.

  • Excellent time management skills

  • Experience in policies, procedures and good governance practices

 

Preferred Attributes

  • Non-profit management and/or arts administration experience

  • College Degree in related field

  • Program assessment and project management skills

  • Photoshop proficiency

Located in Wisconsin’s northwoods, Phillips is a small city in a largely rural area with small, local businesses and a few larger corporations. Located on State Highway 13, an artery to northwoods vacationlands, by car Phillips is approximately 4 hours from Minneapolis/St. Paul, 5 hours from Madison, 5 ½ hours to Milwaukee, and 7 hours from Chicago. X miles to Ashland and Lake Superior.  Wisconsin is home to a remarkable number of vernacular art environments. Friends of Fred Smith participates in the Wandering Wisconsin consortium and in communication with colleagues at Nick Engelbert’s Grandview (Hollandale), the Herman Rusch Prairie Moon Museum (Cochrane), the Paul and Matilda Wegner Grotto (Cataract), the James Tellen Woodland Sculpture Garden, The Mary Nohl Home and Sculpture Garden, and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (Sheboygan).

 

THE FRIENDS OF FRED SMITH OFFERS:

  • Professional development opportunities at an art environment recognized nationally and internationally as a leading vernacular art site.

  • A natural environment of rural beauty amidst lakes, forests, rivers and wild creatures, easily accessible by well-maintained hiking, biking and motorized trails.

  • A welcoming community of people who value this area’s natural heritage.

  • An opportunity for independence and flexibility in the workplace at an art environment with a great potential for positively affecting the people’s lives.

  • Industry competitive salary and benefits commensurate with entry-level administrative positions.

 

INTERESTED CANDIDATES should contact MARISSA RAAB at Express Pros: 

marissa.raab@expresspros.com / 715-785-7905

 

Mourning Francisco González Gragera, Creator of Spain’s Capricho de Cotrina

Posted in Preservation News
dscf0555All photos by Jo Farb Hernández, December 31, 2015.

SPACES is sad to share the news of the death of Francisco González Gragera, creator of one of Spain’s most important art environments, the Capricho de Cotrina, located in the western autonomous community of Extremadura (Badajoz). Gragera passed away on September 19, 2016; he was 90 years old. We send our warmest condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time

 

Although González began his elaborate project to build a country home for himself and his family in 1988, he was forced to stop several times – sometimes for years at a time – as a result of municipal mandates to halt construction, as his whimsical art environment did not conform to local urban codes or permit requirements, let alone architectural expectations. While he was not forced to demolish his work, neither was he given permission to continue to explore his aesthetic interests. Finally, in 2011, a new administration was elected and he was given the go-ahead to begin work anew, which he did with gusto, finessing existing components and adding new ones in the house as well as surrounding gardens, working without written plans and no formal training in architecture, engineering, or art.

 

In contrast to the products of his decades-long vocation–flat marble and granite floors, façades, and even sober geometrically rectilinear headstones–his architectural/sculptural Capricho flamboyantly celebrates the curve. Sinuous lines and organic contours characterize González’s sculpture and architecture, and even the footprints of the house and garden structures rarely, if ever, manifest a straight line. The curvilinear essence of the construction is not related to the topography, as the site is generally flat; rather, it reveals the emphasis the artist placed on unapologetically celebrating the fluidity of form.

 

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González’s Capricho, surely, was linked to aesthetic fantasy and his personal aspirations. It also links to the natural and man-made worlds: local topography and vegetation are well-represented, but so too are the fruits of the local laborers–the olives, the grapes, the sunflowers, the wheat, and even the acorns that are eaten with such gusto by the hogs that will be processed into the renowned jamón serrano. Yet beyond this his architectural whimsy was also tinged with painful memories, represented by the small loaf of bread that symbolizes those postwar years of starvation across Spain and the deprivations of the wars. His sensitivity to those events–viscerally understood at both an individual and a cultural level–coupled with his personal campaign to prove to others that he was worthy, that he was special, also underlay his impetus for construction. He was working for himself and his family, but also to share his efforts, his aesthetics, and what he believed to be important with others, passersby and locals alike.

 

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“Imagination can’t be purchased,” González affirmed. And giving free rein to those images of his imagination, he worked intuitively and improvisationally until the end, to, as he declared, make “the magic of dreams become reality.”

Having worked with and documented González’s Capricho de Cotrina from 2002 to 2016, I devoted a chapter with full description and analysis of his work in my 2013 book Singular Spaces: From the Eccentric to the Extraordinary in Spanish Art Environments.

— Jo Farb Hernández 

 

SPACES Director interviewed for upcoming documentary on David Hoffman’s Last Resort

Posted in SPACES News, Threatened Environments

The Last Resort Lagunitas has a special place in the cultural landscape of the area of Marin County, California, as it exemplifies many of the traditions that originated and evolved in this rural area north of San Francisco, including the inception of the local environmental movement, the birth of a unique style of Arts and Crafts/Pacific Rim architecture, and the formation of alternative artistic currents growing from the counter-culture of the 1960s-‘70s.

David Hoffman began to create this unique art site in 1973 when important cultural fermentations were taking place, drawing on the experience of his extended travels in Nepal, Bhutan, India, and China. In a unique and thoughtful way, he merged the ideologies and societal values of contemporary California with his own interest in the timeless Asian philosophies of life perpetuation and renewal, popularized at that time by the teaching of British philosopher Alan Watts. Hoffman fused these ideals within an array of structures that comprises the site; while reminding visitors of a multitude of world places and cultures, these structures are not copies of actual buildings but are rather the product of his memory, drawing from images of Buddhist temples, traditional rural housings, ancient hearth structures, and from an array of elements of the world’s traditions of tribal and folk art. Hoffman has intermingled all these influences while conducting personal research in order to transform this into “a totally sustainable site,” where the reuse of materials and the recycling of waste are central concepts for the design and construction of all structures. Hoffman has been working on the construction, updating, and maintenance of the site without interruption since its beginnings in 1973.

This site, however, is threatened, as the County of Marin has appointed a receiver in order to force compliance with literally hundreds of what they see as code violations, without taking into consideration the special importance or significance of this site. In an effort to more broadly publicize the concerns about the local government’s trajectory and to garner additional public support to save the site, freelance filmmaker A.J. Marson is producing a documentary on Hoffman and the Last Resort Lagunitas. He and his crew came to SPACES on February 15, 2017 in order to interview SPACES Director Jo Farb Hernández, who provided comprehensive background information on the genre of art environments and discussed specific efforts that are being made to advocate for the preservation of Hoffman’s site.

interviewPhoto courtesy A.J. Marson Films



Watts and Conservation Communities Mourn Frank Preusser

Posted in Just Added, Preservation News

Frank D. Preusser (1944 – 2017)

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Dr. Frank D. Preusser, Andrew W. Mellon Senior Conservation Scientist, in the Conservation Center at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).  Dr. Preusser devoted his life to the preservation of cultural materials and is widely recognized as one of the preeminent figures in the field of conservation science.  He joined LACMA in 2005 at a time when the Center was undergoing significant changes and his efforts were instrumental in revitalizing the Center’s scientific program. In addition to providing scientific support to the museum’s conservators and curatorial staff, Frank was the lead scientist and project manager for LACMA’s efforts to conserve Watts Towers – a complex set of interconnected sculptural structures located within the Simon Rodia State Historic Park in Watts, California.

Dr. Preusser received his BS (1967) and MS (1969) in chemistry from the Technical University Munich, Germany and in 1973 his PhD (summa cum laude) in physical chemistry and chemical technology. Soon thereafter he accepted a position at the Doerner Institute, the research center of the Bavarian State Art Collections where he served as Head of the Research Laboratory for over ten years working closely with one of the world’s leading paintings conservators, the late Hubert von Sonnenburg. As the only museum scientist on staff he was responsible for the technical examination of the collections as well as assisting the State’s Historic Monument Protection Agency. He also played an active role in the design of the Neue Pinakothek Munich to ensure the proper display and storage of the works of art.

 In 1983 Dr. Preusser was appointed Head of the Laboratory at the J. Paul Getty Museum and later served in multiple positions at the Getty Conservation Institute including Program Director (Scientific Research), Acting Co-Director, Head of Publications, and Associate Director (Programs). As Program Director for Scientific Research Dr. Preusser developed a wide range of new initiatives that set the stage for some of the most important advances in the field of conservation science. During his tenure at GCI, rather than poaching research staff from other institutions, Dr. Preusser purposefully recruited young up-and-coming professionals with various scientific backgrounds and set them off on the challenge of applying their expertise to cultural heritage preservation.  Many of them continue his drive to advance scientific progress in the field of conservation. During his tenure at GCI he also served on numerous advisory committees for the preservation of cultural materials – most notably UNESCO’s Advisory Committee to the Egyptian Antiquities Organization on the Preservation of the Giza Plateau; UNESCO’s International Consultative Committee for the Preservation of Moenjodaro in Pakistan; UNESCO’s International Committee on Training Needs in Cambodia; UNESCO’s Advisory Committee on the Preservation of the Monuments of Angkor, Cambodia; and the US National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program.

 After leaving the Getty Conservation Institute in 1993, he founded Frank Preusser & Associates where he continued to work on cultural heritage preservation projects for museums, libraries and archives as well as scientific investigations of individual artworks.  During this time he was also a guest-professor at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music (Tokyo Geijutsu Daigaku) where he taught several graduate courses in conservation science including an Introduction to Instrumental analysis, archaeometry, and accelerated aging.

While Dr. Preusser’s knowledge of the field of art conservation was without parallel, for those of us who had the honor of working with him he will always be remembered for the devotion and support he gave his staff and colleagues.  He loved teaching and guiding his staff and interns to reach their goals and become successful professionals. Many of us today owe our professional careers to his mentorship for which we are truly grateful.  

Dr. Preusser is survived by his wife Margarete, his two sons Wolfgang and Bernhard, his daughters-in-law Melinda and Susan, and his grandchildren Adrianna and Devin.

 

~Mark Gilberg and Charlotte Eng



Salvation Mountain Update

Posted in Just Added, Take Action, Threatened Environments

Most who know the story of how Leonard Knight’s Salvation Mountain came to be or have visited the Dr. Seussian spectacle rising triumphantly out of the monochromatic Sonoran Desert landscape realize the fragility of this incredible monument to God’s love as understood by Knight (1931 – 2014). After falling down several years into its making, Knight adjusted his technique and began packing handmade adobe into the side of an existing cliff face, then applying coats upon coats of technicolor paint as a strikingly beautiful layer of protection.

svm2Photo: Annalise Taylor. December 26, 2016.

The Mountain is incredibly vulnerable to the elements, and deserts like the Sonoran present some of the harshest conditions on the planet – a dehydrated and utterly unprotected landscape. Considering the intentions behind Knight’s creation – that it exist almost as a beckoning mirage, attracting its seekers and mere passersby alike – to cut off visitor access in order to protect the integrity of the structure would be counterintuitive to its most basic function. Not to mention, any attempt to provide significant protection for the structure from both visitors and the desert conditions would be a prohibitively expensive endeavor. Thus, Salvation Mountain will continue to exist as it has for the past 30 years – open to all who visit and susceptible to whatever may come its way.

However, the Mountain does not stand alone but rather with a team of dedicated and passionate protectors who continue the never-ending process of fixing what fails. The reality of the open-air site is that without constant care, it will degrade over time. Salvation Mountain’s board of directors, Salvation Mountain, Inc., has employed a site docent, Ella Hare, as well as a caretaker, Ron, to explain Knight’s story of love and dedication, be vigilant when visitors are present, and make necessary repairs.

svm3Photo: Annalise Taylor. December 26, 2016.

During my last visit on December 26, 2016, I had a lengthy conversation with Ron about the current plans for the Mountain. The area had experienced significant rainfall over the previous two weeks, so the Mountain and the Museum were off limits to visitors until the area was completely dry. It was heartening to see a wealth of visitors complying with the signage directing them to observe from a distance rather than walking on the Mountain or the Sea of Galilee. The site continues to attract visitors though it has been several years since Knight was present to act as the Mountain’s very charismatic host and guide; Ron said he encountered hundreds of people over the Christmas holiday.

 Ron enthusiastically explained his plans to continue making significant conservation efforts to the Mountain; however, there is no intention to stray whatsoever from the appearance of the site as it was when Knight was present. He and a team of volunteers are working to reinforce the delicate hay bale and car window roof of the Museum with more bales and additional packed adobe and paint. Additionally, the downward slope to the left of the center of the mountain has been packed with an adobe base layer so that the red tree with branching beatitudes like “faith,” “love,” and “meekness” can be recreated. It’s clear that Ron, who is a relatively new caretaker, feels very dedicated to the immense task ahead of him and hopes do his work in the spirit of Knight.   

svm4Photo: Annalise Taylor. December 26, 2016.

Salvation Mountain is currently listed by SPACES as “threatened,” and I believe this to be true. While repairs are made when sections of the mountain disintegrate, largescale damage due to a natural disaster, which could conceivably strike at any moment, would probably prove unmanageable. However, as long as the members of Salvation Mountain, Inc. and its team remain dedicated to their labor of love – maintaining and protecting the site – I believe Salvation Mountain will continue to thrive, and most importantly, reflect the original spirit of its humble creator, Leonard Knight.

~Annalise Taylor

Remembering Laurent Danchin (1946–2017)

Posted in SPACES News



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SPACES sorrowfully announces the death of Board member Laurent Danchin, who passed away on January 10, 2017. Laurent served on the Board of SPACES since 2015, and was crucial in helping us expand our international reach to those interested in studying, documenting, and advocating for art environments.

World-renowned for thoughtful and careful writings and curated exhibitions on a variety of art and artists, Laurent was particularly interested in the subject of art brut and art environments. He worked with the Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne, Switzerland; the Halle Saint Pierre in Paris; the International Museum of “Arts Modèstes” in Sète, France; and other institutions across Europe to curate a series of exhibitions on the field, annotating them with numerous articles, essays, and introductions. He published several books on art brut and post-contemporary arts, and his works appeared in more than a dozen countries. He was particularly instrumental in the preservation and advocacy for Chomo’s Village d’art préludien environment in France, organizing conservation efforts and thoroughly documenting the various stages of the artist’s expressions. The French editor for Raw Vision, a former journalist and radio/TV announcer, and perceptive interview for a range of creative people, he was also co-author of the website www.mycelium-fr.com.

Laurent was such a bright light in my life, personally, and so thoughtful and warm and funny. Although we usually saw each other only once a year, we corresponded regularly and intellectually jousted with each other to really think through all the ramifications of our analyses of the artists that we loved and studied. The world has truly lost a great thinker and a wonderful soul.

We already miss Laurent’s perception, thoughtfulness, and charm; donations in his name may be made to SPACES by contacting Director Jo Farb Hernández.

 

- Jo Farb Hernández, SPACES Director

 

Executive Director – Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park & Museum

Posted in Just Added

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Last Date to Apply: A resume and cover letter must be submitted to whirligigpark@gmail.com no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 3, 2017.

The Position:  This full time Executive Director position is responsible for the management and oversight of a dynamic start-up nonprofit organization using art and science and a public park/outdoor museum as catalysts for community and economic development.

The Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park & Museum is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization created to design, build, program, and promote a unique new park in the heart of Historic Downtown Wilson, which will serve as an arts & science-driven economic development engine, vibrant community gathering space, and tourism driver. The 30 massive, wind-driven kinetic sculptures designed and built by the renowned artist, Vollis Simpson, are being renovated and conserved to serve as the centerpiece of the new park. The non-profit will retain long-term ownership and maintenance responsibilities of the artwork collection and will work in partnership with the City of Wilson to construct, promote and program this public park. The Whirligig Park project has received national recognition, funding, and or partnerships from prestigious organizations such as the National Parks Service, Smithsonian, National Endowment for the Arts, Kohler Foundation, ArtPlace America, the North Carolina Arts Council, the North Carolina Department of Commerce, and the City of Wilson, among others.

Compensation: Pay commensurate with experience in the industry

Benefits: The Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park & Museum nonprofit organization provides an excellent working environment as well as benefits. Pay commensurate with experience in the industry.
Vacation, holidays, PTO
403b
Compensation package for medical benefits
Flex scheduling

To Compete the Selection Process: To be considered for this position, a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field is required. Experience sufficient to thoroughly understand the diverse objectives and functions of the position and organizational goals, usually interpreted to require at least five years’ experience, is required. Possession of a valid driver’s license is required.

The Selection Process
: The process begins with a complete evaluation of the resumes submitted. After screening all candidates, the most qualified will be invited to participate in personal interviews. The applicant determined to be the best fit for the needs of the positions will be given a careful reference and criminal background checks and a drug test.
 
Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park and Museum
Where the Sciences Meet the Arts
252-243-8440
828-318-2860 (c)
www.wilsonwhirligigpark.org
 

Conservator-in-Residence Position, Hartman Rock Garden - Ohio

Posted in Preservation News
indexphoto2Image via Hartman Rock Garden.
The Hartman Rock Garden is seeking applications from individuals who wish to gain professional experience in the fields of art history, conservation, history, and museum studies for its eleven-month Conservator-in-Residence position. The position begins May 1, 2017 and concludes March 31, 2018 (dates can be flexible). The selected individual or individuals will reside in the furnished one-bedroom house at the Hartman Rock Garden, where they will work alongside the garden’s strong volunteer base and professional advisors on the maintenance, conservation, and interpretation of the garden. Applications are due Wednesday, January 25, 2017. See the attached document for full details and application information. Questions can be directed to krose@hmturnerfoundation.org. Please forward to students, friends, or colleagues who may be interested.

Learn more about Hartman at www.hartmanrockgarden.org.

See the full job description here: Job Description: Conservator-in-Residence, Hartman Rock Garden

 

Kevin Rose
Historian
The Turner Foundation

Laura Pope Forrester Home + Art Environment on the Market

Posted in Gardens, Threatened Environments

 

A guest post by Ginger Cook of Deep Fried Kudzu, originally seen here.

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I was contacted a few months ago by a UGA faculty member for permission to use some of my photographs of the Laura Pope Forrester home in Ochlocknee, Georgia (which I granted) in paperwork to add it as a “Places in Peril” with the National Trust of Historic Preservation.


An entry for Laura Pope Forrester (they spell her surname differently, as it most often appears ‘Laura Pope Forester’) appears in the New Georgia Encyclopedia for her work as a self-taught artist in Ochlocknee who “created one of the state’s first outdoor art environments during the 1940s and 1950s. Her concrete figures, depicting such historical and literary personages as Nancy Hart and Scarlett O’Hara, came to be known as “Mrs. Pope’s Museum.”“

The AP reported on the site in 1961:
One of the most unique museums in the nation, containing more than 200 statues hand-carved by a Mitchell County woman…

Mrs. Forester’s inventiveness was almost as incredible as her talent.  Besides using scrap iron from junkyards, discarded tin cans and other waste material as braces for her statues, she painted the figures with liquids of many flowers and brightly colored berries…

…The sculptress, who created her first statue in 1900, died in 1953, at the Pope mansion in which she was born.  The museum is sponsored by a civic club and the Chamber of Commerce.

Two hundred life-size statues…plus she painted, including painting directly on her home.  In the early ’80s, the owner of the house reportedly had the statues destroyed in fewer than 48 hours.  A witness to what was left later records: “I remember going out behind the house and seeing just piles of faces and hands and such…”  

The author of ‘A Palpable Elysium: Portraits of Genius and Solitude’ includes a quote from the owner who arranged for the destruction as saying, “They had done passed their days of bein’ useful. So we’ve taken down just about all of ‘em.”

The author writes:
Based on the evidence that remains, this is one of the worst pieces of unconscious vandalism that one has ever heard of. How could the museums and historical societies and university art departments and collectors of the state of Georgia — or just local citizens with eyes in their heads — have allowed this destruction to take place?
—-


The home’s been on the market for a few months, and the price has been lowered to $153k. The photographs on the realtor.com listing don’t show the artwork out front, and doesn’t make any notation about it. Hopes are to have the site preserved, as some of the previous owners destroyed statuary. 

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Highlights

Act Now: Save The Last Resort - A Working Model of Sustainability in Marin County, CA
Take Action, Threatened Environments

Conservator-in-Residence Position, Hartman Rock Garden - Ohio
Preservation News

SPACES Honors Watts Towers Committee Founding Member Jeanne Smith Morgan on her 90th Birthday!
Preservation News, SPACES News

Remembering Josep Pujiula i Vila (1937-2016)
Just Added, Self-Taught Arts in the News

Dispatch from the Field: Jo Farb Hernández in Spain
Just Added, SPACES News

Materializing the Bible. by James S. Bielo (Miami University)
Gardens, Religious, Devotional & Spiritual

Call to Action: Preserve Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village in California
Threatened Environments

Mr. Imagination exhibit at Intuit named one of 10 best in the United States
Self-Taught Arts in the News

SPACES Director to Present Singular Spaces at Madrid’s Reina Sofia Museum
SPACES News

Margaret’s Grocery listed as one of Mississippi’s Historic Trust’s 10 Most Endangered Properties!
Preservation News, Threatened Environments

The SPACES website allows you to save your favorite art environments and share them with your friends or colleagues. Create your own portfolio of your favorites from environments in the online collection.

Send them to your friends, post them on Facebook or to your Twitter account!

Look for this button on pages that can be saved:

Add Page to my spaces