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Vassar Sculpture Garden Redesigned

Vassar cut the ribbon on the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center’s newly redesigned Hildegarde Krause Baker, class of 1911, Sculpture Garden this spring semester after a thoughtful redesign and reinstallation by the celebrated landscape architecture firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.

The Art Center hired the Brooklyn-based firm, known for creating environmentally sustainable and experientially rich spaces, in 2011. Over the past year, the garden has been transformed by new pathways, plantings, and seating areas. Joining old favorites are several sculptures that are on view for the first time since entering the collection, including bronzes by Pietro Consagra, Dimitri Hadzi, and Harriet Whitney Frishmuth.

“The reinstallation of the Hildegarde Krause Baker, class of 1911, Sculpture Garden offers visitors a quiet environment to appreciate nature and artists' achievements in bronze and stone,” said Art Center director James Mundy. “I suspect it will become one of the more popular spots on campus to read, sip a beverage, and escape the stresses of the week.” 

The Sculpture Garden opened in 1993 as an integral part of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center. With its stellar collection of 20th-century sculpture including works by Frank Stella, Gaston Lachaise, and Anthony Caro, among others, it has offered museum visitors a three-dimensional counterpoint to the many two-dimensional works inside the galleries. The Sculpture Garden was a memorial gift by Eric and Jane Baker Nord ’42 when the Art Center first opened. The current renovation was made possible through a gift by the late Ralph Connor, Vassar Trustee from 1963 through 1971.

Photos © Vassar College/Lee Ferris