Artober – Public Art: Henry Moore’s Large Standing Figure Knife Edge

Arguably Little Rock’s most famous piece of public art is Henry Moore’s 1961 creation Large Standing Figure: Knife Edge, which is known locally as “The Henry Moore Sculpture.”

The original model was created in 1961; this sculpture was cast in 1976 and purchased in June 1978 by the Little Rock Metrocentre Improvement District.

The purchase price was $185,000 — a princely sum at the time but now a bargain for a Henry Moore sculpture. (Adjusted for inflation, that amount would be the equivalent of $705,000 today.)

A committee consisting of Townsend Wolfe (then the director and chief curator of the Arkansas Arts Center), James Dyke and Dr. Virginia Rembert traveled to England to meet with Moore about the sculpture.

It was originally placed on Main Street when the street had been bricked over as part of the Metrocentre Mall pedestrian mall plan. As portions of the street became unbricked and reopened to vehicular traffic, it was moved to the intersection of Capitol and Main. Finally, when the last segment was reopened to vehicular traffic, it was put at its current location of the southeast corner of Capitol and Louisiana. Because it was purchased by the Improvement District, it must stay within the boundaries of the district.

On March 20, 2018, the City of Little Rock and the Metrocentre Improvement District swapped the Henry Moore sculpture for the land on which the District’s parking deck stands. The City will relocate the Henry Moore piece to be in front of the Arkansas Arts Center once that reconstruction project is completed.

A replica of the sculpture is featured in the 1980s classic The Breakfast Club.

Artober – Arts After Dark

October is Arts and Humanities Month nationally and in Little Rock. Americans for the Arts has identified a different arts topic to be posted for each day in the month.  Next up is “Arts after Dark”

This theme, like many of them, could go in many different directions.  I’ve chosen to highlight some cultural institutions lit up at night.

Ballet Arkansas and the Annex of Arkansas Rep on Main Street

Jane DeDecker and Alyson Kinkade’s IN THE WINGS in front of Robinson Center Performance Hall.

Darrell Davis’ Lions Pride in War Memorial Park

 

Lastly, while this photo took place indoors, it is a recreation of what the entrance to the Arkansas Arts Center will look like in 2022 when Henry Moore’s STANDING FIGURE KNIFE’S EDGE is located in front of the 1937 entrance to the AAC, which will once again be the main entrance. This was created for the AAC’s Farewell Party in August 2019.

Once and Future Arkansas Arts Center 9th Street entrance

Celebrating Henry Moore’s Birthday with a look at Large Standing Figure, Knife Edge

British sculptor Henry Moore was born on July 30, 1898.  He became connected with Little Rock 80 years after his birth.

It was 1978, Bill Clinton was making his first run for Governor, Dallas and Robin Williams both made their TV debuts, disco was dominating the music scene, and Little Rock received its first major piece of public art.

Arguably Little Rock’s most famous piece of public art is Henry Moore’s 1961 creation Large Standing Figure: Knife Edge, which is known locally as “The Henry Moore Sculpture.”

The original model was created in 1961; this sculpture was cast in 1976 and purchased in June 1978 by the Little Rock Metrocentre Improvement District.

The purchase price was $185,000 — a princely sum at the time but now a bargain for a Henry Moore sculpture. (Adjusted for inflation, that amount would be the equivalent of $727,000 today.)

A committee consisting of Townsend Wolfe (then the director and chief curator of the Arkansas Arts Center), James Dyke and Dr. Virginia Rembert traveled to England to meet with Moore about the sculpture.

It was originally placed on Main Street when the street had been bricked over as part of the Metrocentre Mall pedestrian mall plan. As portions of the street became unbricked and reopened to vehicular traffic, it was moved to the intersection of Capitol and Main. Finally, when the last segment was reopened to vehicular traffic, it was put at its current location of the southeast corner of Capitol and Louisiana.

In March 2018, ownership was transferred to the City of Little Rock.  Plans call for it to be relocated to the Arkansas Arts Center when it reopens in 2022.

A replica of the sculpture is featured in the 1980s classic The Breakfast Club.

Breakfast with Henry Moore

HenryMooreThe John Hughes classic The Breakfast Club takes place on March 24, 1984, a Saturday.  Inside the library of the fictional school is a replica of Henry Moore’s Large Standing Figure: Knife Edge.

Earlier this week, the Little Rock City Board of Directors voted to accept the sculpture from the Metrocentre Improvement District in exchange for land.  The sculpture (which arrived in Little Rock in 1978) will be moved eventually to MacArthur Park to be placed at the entrance of the Arkansas Arts Center once renovations are complete in 2022.

MacArthur Park will mark the third location for the sculpture in Little Rock.  From 1978 to 1999, it stood at the intersection of Main and Capitol Streets as part of the Metrocentre Mall, a pedestrian development.  In anticipation of the last remaining portions of that project were reopened to vehicular traffic, it was moved to Capitol and Louisiana.

The_Breakfast_Club_229

It was not, contrary to what some on the internet may claim, loaned out for the filming of the movie.  The one in The Breakfast Club is either another striking of the sculpture or, more likely, a Papiermâché (or some other material) reproduction.

Arkansas Heritage Month – Public Art comes to Little Rock with Henry Moore’s LARGE STANDING FIGURE: KNIFE EDGE

HenryMooreIt was 1978, Bill Clinton was making his first run for Governor, Dallas and Robin Williams both made their TV debuts, disco was dominating the music scene, and Little Rock received its first major piece of public art.

Arguably Little Rock’s most famous piece of public art is Henry Moore’s 1961 creation Large Standing Figure: Knife Edge, which is known locally as “The Henry Moore Sculpture.”

The original model was created in 1961; this sculpture was cast in 1976 and purchased in June 1978 by the Little Rock Metrocentre Improvement District.

The purchase price was $185,000 — a princely sum at the time but now a bargain for a Henry Moore sculpture. (Adjusted for inflation, that amount would be the equivalent of $705,000 today.)

A committee consisting of Townsend Wolfe (then the director and chief curator of the Arkansas Arts Center), James Dyke and Dr. Virginia Rembert traveled to England to meet with Moore about the sculpture.

It was originally placed on Main Street when the street had been bricked over as part of the Metrocentre Mall pedestrian mall plan. As portions of the street became unbricked and reopened to vehicular traffic, it was moved to the intersection of Capitol and Main. Finally, when the last segment was reopened to vehicular traffic, it was put at its current location of the southeast corner of Capitol and Louisiana. Because it was purchased by the Improvement District, it must stay within the boundaries of the district.

There is currently discussion about the Metrocentre Improvement District disbanding and the sculpture being relocated elsewhere in the City.

A replica of the sculpture is featured in the 1980s classic The Breakfast Club.

15 Highlights of 2015 – Sculpture at the River Market expands beyond River Market

0202PeaceIn 2015, Sculpture at the River Market officially expanded outside of the River Market area.

There have certainly been sculptures in Little Rock since the Henry Moore sculpture arrived in the 1970s.  Working with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department, Sculpture at the River Market has located scores of sculptures in Riverfront Park (both in the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden and in other areas of the park) and on the streets in the River Market District.

In 2011, the group started a public monument competition. The first three annual winners were all placed in Riverfront Park. Lorri Acott won the 2014 competition for her sculpture Peace.  Instead of being placed in the park, it was installed at the southeast corner of the intersection of Second and Main Streets.

It has quickly become a focal point in downtown Little Rock.

The 2015 public monument competition was won by Michael Warrick. It will be placed on Chenal Parkway at Chenal Village Drive.

Also in 2015, the sculptures downtown started attracting attention.  Actress Melissa Joan Hart and singer Tim McGraw both took to social media to highlight Little Rock sculpture while they were visiting Little Rock.  McGraw highlighted the pig sculpture at the River Market while Hart praised Rabbit Reach at the corner of President Clinton Avenue and Sherman Street.

The 2016 edition of the annual show and sale will be April 22 to 24.

Back to School Cinema: THE BREAKFAST CLUB

breakfast-club-movie-poster1The Back to School Cinema week ends with what may be the only school film to be set on a Saturday, 1985’s The Breakfast Club.  Written and directed by John Hughes, this Chicago-area high school film both exploits and explodes high school stereotypes.

As the nerd, the jock, the stoner, the loner and the princess, five tackle teen issues during detention in an upscale high school library.  It has to be upscale – it has a Henry Moore sculpture in it.  (It is a copy of Standing Figure Knife Edge which sits in downtown Little Rock.)

It seems like pretty much every Hollywood actor under the age of 25 was considered for one of the five roles in this movie. The lucky five – Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall and Ally Sheedy – helped define their generation of actors. Their work together in this movie and others helped create the brand of the Brat Pack.

Borrowing a concept nearly as old as time, Hughes pits five unlikely strangers against each other in a confined space. While united against Paul Gleason’s sadistic principal, they also grapple with ever-shifting alliances and antagonists.  It is no surprise that each student discovers the others are equally unhappy and uncertain, but that doesn’t lessen the charm and emotional tug of the movie.