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Spring 2002
A walk in the garden

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The garden is tripartite in design. It consists of a formal red brick piazza in front of Dickson Art Center and Macgowan Hall; the gothic allée — as Murphy dubbed it — a triple row of South African coral trees creating a promenade with a cathedral-like canopy that divides the piazza from the third section, an informal sweep of rolling hills set with meandering pebble pathways and six free-form seating areas.

The garden has no main entrance, so one can encounter it in many different ways. That was deemed such an important element that during the expansion of Bunche Hall, part of the building was raised on piers so it would not obstruct the walkway from the garden to the central campus.

The sculpture garden has continually evolved since it was dedicated in 1967 and, with 73 pieces, is essentially complete, Burlingham says. But UCLA has accepted new pieces that are "in the spirit of the garden," she adds. The most recent addition was Butterfield's Pensive, donated in 1997.

"The garden isn't necessarily frozen in time, but it does have a certain integrity to it," Burlingham says. "If you destroy that integrity, it's just sculpture and landscape as separate things. It's the relationship of the sculpture to the landscape, and of the sculptures to each other, that form integral pieces, and that's something you have to preserve. But it doesn't mean it can't allow for change."

During the planning of the garden, Murphy and Cornell went around the site with papier-mâché stand-ins of the artworks. Throughout the years, additions have been carefully placed. George Rickey's kinetic sculpture Two Lines Oblique Down (Variation III) is positioned strategically to catch the wind. Rodin's The Walking Man is located so that it can be seen from several vantage points, and when entering from the north side at night, it is the only sculpture visible at the end of the long walkway.

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