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Andy Goldsworthy: Walking Wall

Andy Goldsworthy: Walking Wall

Walking Wall completed its journey on Wednesday, December 4, inching into the Bloch Building to create a permanent sculpture that appears to walk from the Sculpture Park into the museum through a glass wall. Kansas City has celebrated artist Andy Goldsworthy and his crew of craftsmen as they hand built the wall in stages, starting in March 2019.

In a conversation with Goldsworthy, Director & CEO Julian Zugazagoitia asked him, “What is the work of art? Is it the stone wall?” It is partly that, Goldsworthy said, but it is also the stories that came from the project, the pathways in the grass, the obstruction the wall caused, the energy from all who embraced it, and the memories that people will hold.

Goldsworthy’s project at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art fulfills his long-held vision to build a stone wall that moves across the landscape. He and his crew hand built the wall in five stages, then moved it stone by stone across the museum landscape.

The first stage was completed in March on land east of the museum. The second phase crossed Rockhill Road and moved up the hill onto the museum campus. The third stage curled the stones around the Bloch Building. The fourth stage moved the stones down the steps between the original Nelson-Atkins building and the Bloch Building. And finally, the fifth stage saw the wall walk right into the museum.

Walking Wall was commissioned by the Hall Family Foundation in honor of Morton and Estelle Sosland.

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Built by Hand

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Goldsworthy’s artistic concept for the Nelson-Atkins project is expressed by a poem called Wall by the late Norman Nicholson, which reads, in part:

A wall walks slowly,
At each give of the ground,
Each creak of the rock’s ribs,
It puts its foot gingerly,
Arches its hog-holes,
Lets cobble and knee-joint
Settle and grip.
As the slipping fellside
Erodes and drifts,
The wall shifts with it,
Is always on the move.

They built a wall slowly,
A day a week;
Built it to stand.
But not stand still.
They built a wall to walk.

Andy Goldsworthy, Walking Wall, 2019, field stone, dimensions variable. Gift of the Hall Family Foundation in honor of Estelle and Morton Sosland, © 2019 Andy Goldsworthy.

 
 

Sunday: 10 am - 5 PM
Monday: 10 am - 5 PM
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 10 AM - 5 PM
Thursday: 10 AM - 9 PM
Friday: 10 AM - 9 PM
Saturday: 10 AM - 5 PM

Free
Location: Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park