Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden — UCLA, University of California, Los Angeles
Matisse’s four backs! Who knew they could be found elsewhere than at the Museum of Modern Art in New York? Yet, here they are, next to one of Serra’s Ellipses, at the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden, a free public garden located on the campus of UCLA, in California.
I knew about the park, but I had no idea of how rich and diverse it was. More than seventy sculptures, most of them donations from former students, artists or foundations, occupy about 5 acres of landscaped gardens, tucked between buildings of UCLA, where students work, chat, or sunbathe on the surrounding lawns and benches.
Created in 1967 by Franklin D. Murphy, UCLA’s third president, and focused primarily on 20th century art, this sculpture park includes works by some of the greatest artists of modern and contemporary art of the western world – Rodin, Bourdelle, Maillol but also Jean Arp, Henri Laurens, Joan Miró, Barbara Hepworth, Jacques Lipschitz, David Smith, George Rickey, Anthony Caro, Alexander Calder, and many more. The collection never ceases to amaze, up to Alberto Burri’s sublime and monumental black ceramic bas-relief, and what’s more, a gift from the artist! What could be more beautiful than what looks like a negative model of the Grande Cretto, a piece created by Burri in 1979 in Gibelina (Sicily) to commemorate the 1968 earthquake. This gigantic wall, 50 feet long and 16 feet wide, was assembled on site and is made of 700 elements of fired ceramic from Città Di Castello (Umbria, Italy), the artist’s native town.
Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden
Between MacGowan Hall and Bunche Hall, north of the UCLA campus.