Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Speakeasy with Mary Pat Matheson

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2009 at 2:00 PM

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The Atlanta Botanical Garden offers such a relaxing environment, even  the monumental sculptures of Moore in America look more laid-back. Through Oct. 31, the Atlanta Botanical Garden displays 20 pieces from the famed English sculptor Henry Moore, including his massive trademark Earth Mother figures, as well as ones resembling playground equipment or dinosaur bones. ABG Executive Director Mary Pat Matheson discusses Moore's importance and the challenges of squeezing the exhibit into “the horticulturally intense urban garden.”

Do you have criteria you use to choose the garden's big sculpture exhibits like this one or 2004’s Chihuly in the Garden?

There are definitely things we look for. Criteria seems too serious a word for what we do. We’re looking for opportunities in the sculptural world, ones that would be complementary to the garden. After the Dale Chihuly exhibit, I said to the head of our board, what’s our next fantasy? And it was Henry Moore — it just took several years to realize. Henry Moore was so influenced by the natural world. He would hike through the sheep pastures near his home and collect bones. The sinuous nature of his work complements those hills and valleys.

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(Photo by Joeff Davis)

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