Without Words, A Reading Room, 1998
metal, gold leaf, boulders, concrete
63 x 298 x 290 inches
Laumeier Sculpture Park Commission, with funds from the Mark Twain Laumeier Endowment Fund

Harriet Bart’s installation Without Words, A Reading Room, 1998, is a sanctum situated on the Nature Trail, marked by symbolic forms and objects that invite a variety of readings. At Laumeier, Bart has created a poetic and evocative sculptural setting that is filled with mystery and drama. The backdrop is a stone wall; on its facade are chiseled letters, “A E I O U,” evoking a possible remnant of an ancient culture. For Bart, these five letters “unlock the alphabet that is our code for language and concepts.” Opposite are five boulders arranged before the standing steel desk with a rusty patina. Experienced together, these sculptural interventions create a place of quiet refuge for the visitor to sit and reflect as the layers of symbolic meaning unravel into an atmosphere that is both poetic and contemplative.

Sculpture Interaction Guideline: Walk, But Do Not Climb


Harriet Bart was born in 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota. She earned her B.A. from the University of Minnesota. Influenced by books and the written word, Bart is known for creating large-scale installations and sculptures. She began exhibiting her work nationally and internationally by 1975 at institutions including the Museum of Art and Design, New York; the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; the Klingspor Museum, Offenbach, Germany; as well as a solo exhibition at Laumeier in 1998. Bart's works are represented in many collections, including the Jewish Museum, New York; the Library of Congress and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Muller-Schwann Zerlag, Nuremberg, Germany; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

Visit www.harrietbart.com for more information.