One Rhyme And Reason For Place-Based Sculpture
How Bart Walter's Elk Monument Came To Mark A National Museums Entrance
In 2012, the National Museum of Wildlife Art will celebrate its 25th birthday. Yet when the new edifice of the museum opened a few years ago, it confronted a rather novel challenge. Rising high above the National Elk Refuge along a well-traveled highway leading to Grand Teton National Park, the museum often was overlooked by passersby. Indeed, the intent of construction always had been to achieve subtlety rather than lord over the natural landscape.
Wrestling with the question of how to draw the attention of travelers without erecting a gaudy billboard, the decision was made to mark the entrance with a grand monumental sculpture. Bart Walter's piece was more than ornamental. It is intended to mark the intersection between fine art and the home of thousands of elk that gather on the refuge every winter.
Walter was the featured sculptor at the museum's 2011 Western Visions exhibition. This short video explains the story behind how Walter's monument to came to reside in its landmark setting. (Click on lower right of video player to bring it to full screen).