July 25, 2013

Shape-up for museum's sculpture garden

By Bob Keyes bkeyes@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

As the summer moves on, the Ogunquit Museum of American Art staff is working to landscape the museum's sculpture garden.

The lawn was torn up for a water project, and museum director Ron Crusan decided to take advantage of the upheaval to relocate some sculpture to create a more appealing outdoor setting.

"We're trying to develop the whole campus and not just the building," Crusan said. "I want to lure people onto the rest of the property. My goal is to tie the inside to the outside. We're creating a more holistic campus."

New additions to the museum sculptural collection will be installed as the summer progresses. The museum recently received an abstract cast bronze piece by Abbott Pattison, courtesy of the Maine State Museum, and a wooden rhinoceros by Bernard Langlais, courtesy of the University of Southern Maine.

The Langlais piece is on site, but not installed. Over the winter, the museum conserved and preserved two of its three large-scale Langlais wooden animal sculptures, the lion and the horse. Work on a third Langlais piece, the bear, continues.

When that work is completed, the Ogunquit Museum will have four of Langlais' large wooden sculptures to anchor its outdoor garden, which also includes several other pieces in various media.

Many people have asked Crusan why the museum accepted the gift from USM, and why it took on the responsible of caring for a fourth Langlais piece.

"We don't want to be seen as a Langlais museum, but we want to be a destination," he said. "This makes us a Langlais destination, and when people come to see his work, they will see other work as well. If someone is interested in Langlais' huge pieces, we now have four of them, and that makes us unique."

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