Thursday, September 2, 2010

First stop

Our first stop is closest to home, a couple of hundred crow fly yards. It is also the most disappointing of our stops.

Mayberry is too young to have non-historic landmarks. Like many suburban tracts, until 35 years ago it was farmland. As a teen I used to hunt on the land where we are off to. Now it's built up, subdivided, paved and zoned. It's an office park, with its own built in sculpture garden.

Thirtyish years ago sculptor, J Seward Johnson created "The Awakening" a 100 foot long representation of man arising from the earth. The site chosen, a short distance from ADG's backyard, on Hain's Point in Washington DC, was perfect to catch the scale and magnificence of this work. It's one of my favorites.

In 2009 the work was sold to a local nabob, whose first intent was to pick it up lock stock and bring it to Mayberry. A hue and cry in DC put paid to that, so the nabob moved it near the Potomac onto property he owns. The nabob then commissioned Johnson to cast a copy. Times were tight, Johnson not being afraid of money did as asked.

The new casting came to Mayberry. Arks were necessary to view the early October 2009 unveiling. For many years The Awakening has lived in a beautiful setting, in Mayberry it lives in an office park. All sense of scale and grandeur is lost.

It's still worth seeing. Once.

Now, imagine though how much better it would look, in my front yard. I'd be willing to sacrifice a couple of trees to make it happen.

Or, even better, across the lake looking back at me.



Suburban Princess said...

If you had that in your front yard I would worry your artist neighbour would come and hang colourful string from it!

Patsy said...

All we need to bring The Awakening to your yard are a few shovels, a backhoe and a moonless night! And maybe some beer.

Anonymous said...

In a mall in Georgetown, there's a Johnson bronze of a young boy sitting on a bench with an open book.

(I always think Johnson somehow got hold of the last product of DC public school system who could actually read and bronzed him.)

JMW said...

What a shame that the art was moved to a place where its purpose can't be appreciated on a proper scale. If ever a petition develops to have it moved to your yard, I'll sign. ;)

Tom Porter said...

The statue was magnificent in its original setting, and fascinated every one of my children from the earliest age. When she was 6 my eldest daughter and I spent many an early Sunday morning together at The Awakening - we never managed to climb higher than a bit beyond the right elbow, but how breathtaking he is!

dovecote Decor said...

I love that sculpture! Mayberry was supposed to be so charming! Thanks for coming to our little interior drawings round up. Did your friend's grandmother find her new robe?

ADG said...

Toad...we've had The Wakening discussion in the is a most intriguing contrivance but the setting.....