Thanks to a generous gift of $5 million by Barbara and Andy Taylor, the Saint Louis Art Museum has begun construction of a new sculpture garden that will be installed with masterworks from the collection and more than 450 new trees.
The transformative project immediately south of the museum is made possible by a gift from Barbara B. Taylor, president of the Saint Louis Art Museum Board of Commissioners, and Andrew C. Taylor, executive chairman of St. Louis-based Enterprise Holdings, Inc.
“Andy and I take great pleasure in supporting the Saint Louis Art Museum’s vision of connecting visitors with world-class sculpture in a distinctive way,” said Barbara Taylor. “This new sculpture garden will be a beautiful and significant addition to the Museum, as well as to Forest Park.”
Saint Louis Art Museum Director Brent R. Benjamin said the gift will be used to pay the cost of construction, establish an endowment to support future maintenance of the garden, and fund additional outdoor improvements to be determined after the completion of the project in 2015.
“Barbara and Andy’s generosity will allow the Museum to take works from its collection outside its walls and create a unique and enriching experience of art in nature for our visitors,” Benjamin said. “We are grateful for this generous gift that will connect the Museum with its spectacular Forest Park setting and benefit generations to come.”
The new sculpture garden will complete the phased landscape plan designed by Paris-based Michel Desvigne in coordination with the Museum’s new East Building.
Honored with the Medal of the French Academy of Architecture (2000) the French national Urbanism Grand Prize (2011), Desvigne’s landscape projects include Millennium Park in London’s Greenwich Peninsula, Luxemburg’s Draï Eechelen Park and the New Qatar National Museum in Doha.
The garden will be installed with works in the Museum’s collection, including sculpture by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Aristide Maillol, and Mathias Gasteiger, and will complement Stone Sea, a work by Andy Goldsworthy commissioned by the Museum in 2012. The plan calls for two water features, in addition to the planting of more than 450 trees.
Desvigne designed the sculpture garden, as well as already completed landscape improvements, in concert with Sir David Chipperfield’s design of the Art Museum’s East Building, which opened in summer 2013.