American Heartland Garden

Judith Shea’s American Heartland Garden is literally heart-shaped. A direct reference to the physical location of these works within the context of the American Midwest, the enclosure surrounding the central figure suggests the transitional space between a private garden and public park. The context of Public Goddess as a caged yet exposed female, also points to the complexities of domestic life, as both limiting and ideal. Both the sculpture and the garden function together to convey the ideas of romanticism, femininity, and beauty. The word “heartland” used here refers to the notion of Missouri as the heart of mainstream America.

Courtesy of Laumeier Sculpture Park.

Year Completed: 1992
Material: Pink slate tile, benches, iron, wood and plants
Donor: Laumeier Sculpture Park Commission


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