Title of Work
Paul and Mathilda Wegner, Wegner Grotto 1
Date of Work
Super 8 film
Art & Design Study Collection: James Smith Pierce Film Collection
Stored: JSP.FAST.FILM BOX 2
UND Art Collections Repository
Born in Brooklyn, New York, James Smith Pierce received his PhD in art history from Harvard University. During his career as a professor, Pierce also became an accomplished artist, whose artworks were included in important exhibitions (including a show on land art at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC) and books on contemporary earthworks and site-specific sculpture. Pierce was also a photographer, exhibition curator, and art collector.
About Wegner Grotto:
Paul & his wife Mathilda originally emigrated to LaCrosse, Wisconsin from Germany in 1885. They raised five children on their farm and later left the farm's operations to one of their sons. In 1929, the couple decided to begin their own "retirement project". Building continued from 1929-1936, primarily in the summer months. Sculptures on the property included ships, fences, religious structures, and many other buildings. Many of the pieces on the property made of concrete and are covered in shattered glass and crockery. The Wegner Grotto is now owned by the Kohler Foundation which has preserved the pieces and added structural stabilization to the area.
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