St. Louie Bones, 1987
pine timbers, white stain, nails
32 x 818 x 146 inches
Laumeier Sculpture Park Commission

Seventy feet long, thirteen feet wide and following the contours of an uneven slope in Laumeier’s Way Field, Robert Stackhouse’s St. Louie Bones, 1987, creates a rippling silhouette on the Park’s landscape. Conceptually modeled by the presence of our two powerful waterways, the artwork is a wooden structure with many historical associations. St. Louie Bones may look like a boat-turned-Minimalist sculpture, but it also suggests a stage of primitive ritual. Resembling a rickety raft boat, the piece recalls those who live by and travel the riverfrom native tribes in canoes and the European immigrants who landed in steamboats, to the river pilots that keep the local economy flowing. Like a ship tipping into a wave, idea and form are linked in a visual metaphor, presenting a platform to express a literal, imaginary or spiritual voyage.

Sculpture Interaction Guideline: Sit, But Do Not Climb


Robert Stackhouse was born in 1942 in Bronxville, New York. He earned his B.A. from the University of South Florida and his M.A. from the University of Maryland. Stackhouse is known mainly for his sculptures, but is also a recognizable painter and printmaker. His interest in ships is evident in all forms of his art, often with the ship diminished to the essential framework of its structure. Stackhouse won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1977 and 1991, as well as an Artist Lifetime Achievement Award from the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida, in 2008. His work is in collections including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

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