This summer, the newly created Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Sculpture Garden officially opens to the public. This walkable garden, set on a hillside, includes more than 20 distinctive works of art that have been generously donated by Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison of Wayzata. “My wife and I are well into retirement and wanted to find the perfect place for these pieces,” Alfred Harrison says. “We’ve determined that the arboretum is a wonderful location. We’re thrilled with the thought of so many people getting to enjoy these sculptures either by driving past them or taking a walking or bus tour.”
The Harrisons began collecting art in 1964. The early stages of their collection began with lithographs and prints and later evolved to include paintings, sculpture and other works of art. The couple began assembling their outdoor sculpture collection in 1988. We asked them to share their thoughts on a few of their favorite pieces.
Photos by Don Olson.
by Phillip King
An interestingly colored steel piece by a well-known British sculptor. The artist was a contemporary of Harrison at Cambridge University in England. The sculpture was originally titled Reel 3. But when the Harrisons moved it to Minnesota, the piece was officially renamed the Wayzata Reel.
by Barbara Hepworth
A modernist bronze cross created by the English sculptor in 1966. Its multi-colored design is in homage to the style of Piet Mondrian. Mondrian is renowned for black and white grid formations that include the use of three primary colors.
by Mimmo Paladino
A tall bronze sculpture by an French artist. The piece was shipped to the United States from where it once stood high on a Florence hillside overlooking the Arno River. The creatures and figures that protrude from the piece are unexplained and left to the viewer’s imagination. The work is contemplative and interesting from every side.
by Louise Nevelson
A welded aluminum sculpture by an American artist who emigrated to the United States from Russia in the early 20th century. Its large winged appearance reminds Harrison of the mythological Flying Dutchman ghost ship from Wagner’s opera.
Song with 5 Voices
by Rene Kung
Harrison notes that part of the joy of collecting artwork has been getting to know some of the artists personally. Swiss sculptor, Rene Kung is artist who became a family friend. This piece is made from copper and is meant to gently move in the breeze representing voices going out into the world.
by Antoine Poncet
A work created by another Swiss sculptor and friend of the Harrisons. It’s vision of two pieces that seem to meld together. It’s made from rose marble and its angular shape appears softened and swirled by the wind.
by Antoine Poncet
A larger piece set to arrive later to the sculpture garden is also made from rose marble. Perched above the ground, it slopes and swirls around a center opening that allows viewers to not only see the piece but see through the piece.
Disc Spiral 2000
by Jesus Bautista Moroles
A stone piece chiseled from green and black granite by a southwestern American artist from Texas. Balanced on a spire is a grooved disc with a contrasting square center opening.
by Rudolf Belling
This modernist bronze sculpture is reminiscent of a calla lily and was created by a German sculptor whose work was at one time denounced and destroyed in Nazi Germany. He later returned to Germany at the age of 80 and created a larger version of this piece before he died. It became an international landmark of the 1972 Olympic Games.
Apache Mountain Spirit Dancer
by Craig Dan Goseyun
This bronze sculpture is of a Native American ceremonial dancer created by a Southwestern artist from Santa Fe, New Mexico. The statue once sat on a hill near the Harrisons’ home, honoring the traditional belief that it might keep evil spirits away. The hope is that the sculpture will provide its same imaginative defense at the arboretum.
by Paul Granlund
This bronze statue was sculpted by a celebrated Minnesota artist who graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1952. It seems to depict the idea of a family. Hands and feet flail in a playful unity of different generations.