(AMERICAN, 1942–2013)

Old Temple, 1991
western red cedar
120 x 42 x 42 inches
Loan courtesy of the artist

Jene Highstein’s Old Temple, 1991, is a cylindrical form made from western cedar, reminiscent of a primordial totem. Juxtaposed between natural associations and abstract shapes, Highstein’s influences range from stone-age tools and ceremonial objects to ancient deities. As the title suggests, Old Temple’s formation alludes to cultural rudiments of religious rituals—with a slender arch entryway offering a perfect place for a shrine. Old Temple’s organic form is juxtaposed with two other shapes: a carved rectangle opening, slightly hidden in the back, and a prominent arch carved in the front. In the artist's own words, “My sculptures are centered on a continuous search for new forms.”

Sculpture Interaction Guideline: Look, But Do Not Touch


Jene Highstein was born in Baltimore in 1942. He studied both at the New York Studio School and the Royal Academy School in London. His works have been exhibited internationally at the Ilju & Seonhwa Art Center, Seoul, Korea; Madison Square Park and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City; Ace Gallery and the Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center, Los Angeles; the Tate Modern, London; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel; and the Kunsthalle Krems, Austria. Highstein is represented in the collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Dallas Art Museum; the Metropolitan Museum of Art,the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; the Wanås Sculpture Park, Sweden; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Visit for more information.