Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Designers: Edward Larrabee Barnes, Peter Rothschild, MVVA | City: Minneapolis, MN | Project Type: sculpture garden
Date Visited: 10.13.12

Location: 725 Vineland Plc Minneapolis, MN 55403
Size: 11-acre
Official Opening Date: September 10, 1988

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is home to one of the most iconic art pieces in Minneapolis: the Spoonbridge and Cherry Fountain.

With more than 40 permanent sculptures on display, in addition to other art pieces on rotation, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is one of the largest urban sculpture gardens in the U.S. The 11-acre sculpture garden, which sits directly across from one of the top contemporary art museums on the nation, the Walker Art Center, was designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes in collaboration with landscape architect Peter Rothschild.

The original sculpture garden grounds consist of a quartet of roofless, outdoor rooms formed by thick green walls of arborvitae.

In 1992, the landscape architecture firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates was contracted to design and develop an additional 3.5 acres for the sculpture garden whilst respecting the original design by Barnes. With the addition, a formal allee of trees now lead to the 200 foot-long Alene Grossman Memorial Arbor and Flower Garden, a modern stainless steel structure covered in ornamental vines and rich plantings.

And for a welcome break from the Minneapolis cold, there is also the Sage and John Cowles Conservatory, a modern, linear greenhouse that houses archways constructed by creeping fig, leafy palms, succulents, and a towering glass fish sculpture created by Frank Gehry.

I loved visiting the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. And though it’s always a satisfying feeling to finally be able to see the Spoonbridge and Cherry Fountain in person, especially after having only seen it in photographs for so long, I was also impressed by the rest of the grounds, sculptures, conservatory and Memorial Arbor. Meticulously maintained, peaceful, and curious, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is one of my favorite places in the city.

One Response to “Minneapolis Sculpture Garden”

  1. I was recently in Minneapolis and missed the Sculpture Garden! Thanks for the tour. But we did stumble upon the Minneapolis Courthouse, which I intend to write about, and my research of the place led me to your blog. Great photos and good info. Enjoy your travels!

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