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garden view in spring
Courtesy Walker Art Center
garden view in spring Image Rights
detail from dome
Courtesy Walker Art Center
detail from dome Image Rights
Image Rights
garden view in spring
Courtesy Walker Art Center
Copyright retained by the artist


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Prophecy of the Ancients
Brower Hatcher
202 × 246 inches
cast stone, stainless steel, steel, bronze, aluminum, ceramic
Not on view

Object Details

Accession Number
Credit Line
Gift of the Lilly family, 1989

artwork entry Brower Hatcher, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, 1998

Brower Hatcher was trained in engineering and industrial design before he turned to sculpture in the early 1970s. In his stone and steel-mesh sculpture for the Garden, he melds the logic of an engineer with a visionary’s impulse to transcend time and space. A futuristic dome, composed of thousands of flexible wire polyhedrons, rests atop six mock-Egyptian columns in a blend of ancient and modern architectural styles. Embedded within the structure and seeming to hover in space are an assortment of common objects and abstract forms: a table, a ladder, a chair, a turtle (whose patterned shell recalls the gridded structure of the dome), random letters, numbers, discs, and dashes. Hatcher offers up these private symbols for universal interpretation, as viewers are inspired to construct their own meanings from the galaxy of images suspended above them.

Jenkins, Janet, ed. Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Minneapolis, MN: Walker Art Center, 1998, no. 38.

© 1998 Walker Art Center

curriculum resource Brower Hatcher, Prophecy of the Ancients (1988) Walker Art Center, 1998

Trained in engineering and industrial design, Brower Hatcher also studied sculpture. In 1972 he began work on a series of steel sculptures that incorporated domed roofs. Hatcher makes sculptures that are a cross between sophisticated puzzles for the mind and visionary architecture. His stainless-steel mesh structures seem both whimsical and high tech, filled with floating objects such as turtles, tables, chairs, ladders, numbers, letters, and books. Prophecy of the Ancients was commissioned especially for the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and consists of a futuristic wire mesh dome resting on six classical columns. An assortment of disparate objects that suggest cultures both past and present are suspended within the structure of the steel dome. The structure of the dome itself suggests complex constellations or a visual model of space. With this sculpture the artist provides an environment for meditation and thought.

Text for Brower Hatcher, Prophecy of the Ancients (1988), from the curriculum guide The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden: A Garden for All Seasons, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1998.

Copyright 1998 Walker Art Center