Title of Work
Date of Work
35mm slide, digitized 2020
James Smith Pierce Collection: Folk and Outsider Image Collection
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.
William Notzke (1902-1991), ran Jubilee Dairy out of Peoria County in Illinois. He was selling ice cream when he had the vision of creating an on-site rock garden. He created his sculptures out of quartz, which he hauled out of Colorado and Arkansas himself. It took him two decades to build a five-level rock garden, sculpted out of rose and crystal quartz. At the top of this garden, overlooking it all, stands a memorial arch built for his wife Ethel, who died in 1963. Ethel did not approve of William’s handiwork, but he devoted the sculpture to her anyway.
When Notzke died at the age of 89, his garden was sold by his daughter. Cheryl and John Becker bought the site and have been the caretakers ever since. This can be seen on Route 150, but cannot be accessed directly through the driveway in order to preserve the property as best they can.
This image shows the view of the multi-layered garden with the centerpiece being the arch statue devoted to his wife. This statue contained electronics that allow lights to shine through diamond and heart shaped openings.
Image is provided for educational purposes only. © University of North Dakota. All rights reserved.
35 mm slide in excellent condition.