American Heartland Garden, 1992
rose garden, pink slate tiles, wood and iron benches
1188 x 1488 inches, variable height

Public Goddess, 1992
cast bronze, burnished gold foil, wrought iron, paint
112 x 32 x 32 inches

Laumeier Sculpture Park Commission, with funds from the Schneithorst Endowment Fund, the Mark Twain Laumeier Endowment Fund and additional support from anonymous donors

Judith Shea’s American Heartland Garden, 1992, is literally heart-shaped. Follow the pathway around the figure of Shea's golden Public Goddess, 1992, to trace the shape. Rest your feet on the benches provided and enjoy the blooming flower beds in a space made for contemplation. A direct reference to the physical location of these works within the context of the American Midwest, the enclosure surrounding the central figure suggests the transitional space between a private garden and public park. The context of Public Goddess as a caged, yet exposed, female also points to the complexities of domestic life as both limiting and ideal.

Sculpture Interaction Guidelines: Walk Through / Look, But Do Not Touch


Judith Shea was born in Philadelphia in 1948 and earned her B.F.A. from Parsons The New School, New York, in 1975. She was granted a fellowship to the American Academy in Rome in 1994 to study the work of Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Michelangelo, among others. Shea's awards include a Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Sculptor-In-Residence award, a Rockefeller Fellowship and two National Endowment for the Arts awards. Her work can be found in numerous museums and collections, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.