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Get Ready: Traveling Show


By Kristine Breese

Published Jan 1, 2007 8:00 AM

L'Occhio del Cielo by Eliseo Mattiacci

With the exception of trips to reflect in the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden or gape at Serra's mammoth masterpiece torqued ellipse, T.E.U.C.L.A., at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Center, we often miss the bounty of museum quality art tucked into the nooks and crannies on campus. So we've assembled a walking tour of some of the lesser-known pieces and places at UCLA that can satisfy your sculpture craving. Give yourself an hour to walk the whole thing or, better yet, go about your daily routine and discover the art that's been under your nose this whole time.

Start where it all started, at Founder's Rock just north of Murphy Hall. Carved by the elements, not the human hand, this 75-ton granite boulder was hauled into Westwood in 1926 to mark the school's future home. Back in front of Murphy, don't miss the pieces by Gordon Newell (Horizontal Form) and Fritz Koenig (Votive S.).

In the Perloff Courtyard, you'll meet a 7-foot arched nymph (The Vine by Harriet Frishmuth) and three other intriguing sculptures, whose names and depictions, like Rorschach tests, are all open to interpretation.

Eric Gill, Mulier, c. 1913. The Franklin D Murphy Sculpture Garden, UCLA.

At Young Research Library, you'll find Mulier (Latin for "woman") (above). She stands serenely looking skyward in a rectangular pond, as if gathering her thoughts before heading into the stacks.

In the Rolfe Courtyard, you can feast your eyes on up to 11 bronze treasures by Robert Graham, ranging from the centerpiece Stephanie and Spy and stunning models of the Olympic torsos that made Graham an L.A. celebrity and served as studies for several female figures.

As you leave Rolfe and head towards the quad, note an engaging seven-foot circular coil. Although it looks like it could roll with the slightest nudge from its grass perch right into Royce Hall's backside, L'Occhio del Cielo (top) is a one-ton masterpiece anchored to a subterranean platform, and is beautiful to behold.

Your last stop is all the way across campus in front of the Molecular Biology Institute at Boyer Hall. On your way there, however, check out the Duke Ellington statue adjacent to Schoenberg Hall. You'll recognize some of the gals from Graham's models back at Rolfe, although this one is all the better because it includes a grand piano and the musician himself.

Surprisingly abstract given their home in front of a building dedicated to such an exact science, Boyer Hall's Anthropomorphic Echoes (two large resin discs that resemble ears — or maybe elongated cells?) is worth the walk and a reminder that scientists need to feast on art as much as the rest of us.