A walk in the garden
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and environment fuse within the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture
Garden to create a Tranquil Haven in a chaotic world
By Marina Dundjerski '94
Photography by Arwin Keawgumnurdpong
know a little garden close
THE LIFETIME OF A GARDEN,
they are but brief moments of
respite or play, meditation or seriousness.
coos "pretty horsy" while petting Deborah Butterfield's
Pensive under the approving gaze of his mother. A group of
students plays Frisbee in a shallow dell beneath the splendorous
shade of feathery jacarandas and California sycamores. A young woman
retreats to the lawn in an intense cell-phone discussion with her
boyfriend assured her audience of steel and bronze statues
will never reveal the details. And by George Tsutakawa's Obos 69,
the garden's only fountain sculpture, four men practice Tai Chi,
their measured precision nearly camouflaging them among the artwork.
a typical afternoon in the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden,
five acres of paradise on north campus that is whatever you want
it to be: museum, sanctuary, study hall, social hub.
combined, those moments both the ordinary and the precious
fulfill a larger vision conceived by Murphy, UCLA's sixth
chief executive, from 1960-'68. Murphy pictured the garden as part
of everyday campus life. He dreamed of a place where young adults
could gain an appreciation of art in an unobtrusive setting, taking
in sculptures spontaneously over a span of years, yet being infinitely
influenced by them.