After 15 years in storage, an iconic artwork in the Akron Art Museum
collection will get a new home. A prominent fixture of the museums former courtyard, Mark di Suveros Eagle Wheel is being conserved, repainted and readied for installation in the Bud and Susie Rogers Garden. The unforgettable steel sculpture will be installed in the gardens Art Oasisadjacent to South Broadway Streetin time for the June 27 launch of Downtown@Dusk, the museums summer concert series.
John S. Knight Director and CEO Mark Masuoka said, We are excited for the return of this sculpture. Its presence as a public artwork continues the museums process of adding additional artworks to the garden both temporarily and permanently. Our past continues to feed our future, and I cannot think of a better opportunity to pave the way to the museums centennial in 2022 than with a garden filled with art.
Eagle Wheel was acquired by the Akron Art Museum in 1980, with the support of funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Sisler McFawn Foundation and the Museum Acquisition Fund. In 1981, the sculpture was installed in the museums courtyard, where it remained on view, through periodic maintenance and two repaintings, until 2004, when it was placed in storage during the construction of the John S. and James L. Knight building. After conservation and repainting, engineers, excavators, landscapers and riggers are working with the museum to ready the sculpture and the garden for its return.
Since the early 1970s, di Suvero (b. 1933) has created large-scale constructions of cut and welded steel and industrial remnants. Most of his sculpture, including Eagle Wheel, could not have been realized without the use of cranes, forklift trucks, and welding torcheswhich the artist operated himself, referring to the equipment as his paintbrush.
Eagle Wheel, which unites dynamic angles with graceful curves, is painted di Suveros signature color, International Orange, a government-issued color selected to set objects apart from their surroundings. The sculptures indelible presence will provide a bright contrast to the greenery of the garden, while also hinting at Akrons industrial heritage, the museums history and their continued growth.