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Collections> Browse > Belvedere

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Courtesy Walker Art Center
Copyright retained by the artist


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overall 126 × 506 × 407 inches
Not on view

Object Details

Accession Number
Credit Line
Gift of the Butler Family Foundation, 1988

artwork entry Jackie Ferrara, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, 1998

A belvedere—“beautiful view” in Italian—is a structure built to command a view of its surroundings. Jackie Ferrara’s stylized architectural work for the Garden holds court in the southwest corner of the grounds, where it serves as a reception, performance, and seating area for visitors as well as an object of contemplation. Ferrara’s sculptures, whether tabletop sized or of grander scale, are exquisitely crafted meditations on timeless architectural forms. Here, the pylons laid out on a T-shaped floor plan suggest an Egyptian temple. The solid, elemental geometry of the piece contrasts with the delicacy of its surfaces, where complex patterns emerge from the varying lengths and shades of wood and from the play of light and shadow that embellishes the interior spaces.

Jenkins, Janet, ed. Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Minneapolis, MN: Walker Art Center, 1998, no. 3.

© 1998 Walker Art Center

curriculum resource Jackie Ferrara, Belvedere (1988) Walker Art Center, 1998

“Belvedere is a place for people to meet, a stage for performance, a structure to pass through, a platform to walk across. There are steps to climb, doorways to enter, windows to look through, branches to sit on. It is also a sculpture to look at.”–Jackie Ferrara

Since the early 1970s, Jackie Ferrara has explored relationships between sculpture and architecture in her wood constructions, which have evolved from indoor pieces to increasingly large-scale outdoor works. She began making public sculptures motivated by the knowledge that “the piece will be used–that is, entered, climbed in, sat on.” Ferrara’s wood sculpture Belvedere was created for this specific site in the Garden. In architecture a belvedere–“beautiful view” in Italian–is a structure built to command a view of its surroundings. Ferrara’s Belvedere provides varied views of trees, buildings, and other sculptures from its platforms, seats, and openings. The artist created this work as a place to rest and enjoy views of the Garden, and to serve as a stage for performances or other events.

Text for Jackie Ferrara, Belvedere (1988), from the curriculum guide The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden: A Garden for All Seasons, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1998.

Copyright 1998 Walker Art Center