A Look at the Featured Pieces – Women in the Arts Community Ride
Our Women in the Arts Community Ride was one of the most educational events we’ve had all year. For those who want to jog their memory from this awesome ride–or if you’re just curious–here is a recap of the pieces we visited with some interesting accompanying facts. Don’t miss the next ride in this series, the Literary Tour Community Ride.
1. The Reflecting Pool by Maya Lin, at Ellen S. Clark Plaza, BJC Medical Campus, unveiled June 2010
Maya Lin is an American architect and sculptor best known for her design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. Recognized as an artist, designer and environmentalist, she interprets the natural world through science, history, politics, and culture, creating a body of work that encompasses large-scale environmental installations, intimate studio artworks, architectural projects and memorials. Maya designed the focal point of this plaza, a water feature nearly 80 feet in diameter with a raised platform that provides visitors a vantage point to view the landscape. Fed by a large reservoir, the year-round pool is an “infinity pool” with a disappearing edge. The platform includes fiber-optic lighting made to look like twinkling stars at night.
2. Link Auditorium, commissioned by The Wednesday Club, Theodore Link architect, 4504 Westminister Place
The Link Auditorium was designed in 1908 for The Wednesday Club, a women’s education and social club. The building represents architect Theodore Link’s first foray into modernism.
The Wednesday Club, formally organized in 1890, was an important force for civic improvement in St. Louis. It was the first women’s organization in St. Louis to construct its own home. In 1900, the ladies formed a Wednesday Club Building Company, issuing 4,000 shares at $10 per share for raising $40,000. Theodore Link, who designed Union Station, was engaged as architect. The Wednesday Club remained in the building until it moved to new quarters in St. Louis County in the 1970s.
Today, the Link Auditorium is owned by the Learning Center and promotes an appreciation for various forms of human expression, critical thinking, alternative viewpoints, and a deeper respect for intellectual pursuits.
3.Pulitzer Arts Foundation building, commissioned by Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Tadao Ando architect
Walls of concrete and glass form the serene Pulitzer Arts Foundation, commissioned by Emily Rauh Pulitzer, art patron and granddaughter-in-law to the famous Joseph Pulitzer. Designed by Tadao Ando, the museum opened in 2001 and features artworks from this prestigious family’s private collection–considered one of the world’s finest collections of modern art. In 2014 the museum underwent renovations, overseen by Ando, to create two new public galleries which fit seamlessly with the existing building.
4. “Emmy” by Michael Atkinson, 3331 Locust
Michael Atkinson is an American artist born in Texas in 1946. A contemporary watercolorist and figurative bronze sculptor, he is known for his Western and Southwestern landscapes and often nude figures in athletic poses. His sculptures are first done in clay and then cast into bronze. A number of his works are featured on Saint Louis University’s campus.
5. “Bird” by Laura Ford, at Citygarden, completed 2007
Laura Ford was born in Cardiff, Wales in 1961. Ford creates playful and disturbing hybrid creatures. Part human and part animal, they are developed through observation of her children and recollection of her feelings growing up. As a child, she was introduced to the world of sideshows and fairgrounds which had an early and lasting influence on her view of the world. Ford’s sculptures are both intensely crafted and playful and she employs a wide range of media.
6. “Adam & Eve” by Kiki de Saint Phalle, Citygarden
Niki de Sainte Phalle was a French sculptor, painter, and illustrator, best known for her playful sculptures of brightly painted female figures called “nanas” or “babes.” Adam and Eve is a prime example of the New Realist art movement and is painted with decorative patters referencing the biblical story in a playful manner. The work was originally part of the Fontaine Stravinsky, a public fountain with sixteen sculptures by Saint Phalle and her husband Jean Tinguely located next to the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
7. “La Riviere” (The River), by Aristide Maillol, Citygarden
Aristide Maillol was a Catalan sculptor, painter, and printmaker born in 1861. He was influenced by his contemporary Paul Gauguin, as well as artists of the Nabis movement, and joined the group in 1894. La Riviere (The River) is a bronze sculpture completed in 1943. The female nude is Maillol’s predominant subject, devoid of any architectural context. Although most of his sculptures are characterized by stillness, serenity and emotional restraint, La Riviere departs from those ideals. Maillol creates the feeling of instability and movement by placing the figure low to the ground and extending the head and arms beyond the pedestal.
8. “Thomas Hart Benton” by Harriet Goodhue Hosmer, in Lafayette Park
Born in Massachusetts in 1830, Hosmer demonstrated artistic ability early on but her attempts to hone her craft by studying human anatomy were repeated rebuffed by medical classes open only to men. East Cost schools rejected the idea of a woman studying human anatomy or creating art from live nude models. In 1850, at age 20, she traveled to St. Louis and became the first woman to have completed a course of study at the Missouri Medical College, the school that eventually became Washington University School of Medicine. Hosmer said, “I honor every woman who has strength enough to step out of the beaten path.”