Elmer Petersen Playground Sculptures, 1971 and 1979

(This is what was supposed to come out yesterday…late TBT!)

In the 1970s, before the playground manufacturers became so dominant,  it was quite common for municipalities to hire a local sculptor to make a playground piece.  Because of this, every so often I stumble across someone who made a few playable works in that era but was never known more widely for their playground artistry.  They’re often Midwesterners, whose artists in general receive less attention relative to their compatriots in big coastal cities.  The latest find is Elmer Petersen of Wisconsin, who made a fish in 1979 for the Irving Pertzsch Elementary School in Onalaska, WI and in 1971 completed the ‘Dragon Wagon’ for Springfield Ohio…made of cement applied OVER A CADILLAC! See the door openings? Love that.  Anyone know what happened to these?

Leave a Reply