Wishbone House, Colin Greenly, 1967

Precast concrete, six feet high and eight foot long, six thousand pounds, “Wishbone House” was the winner of The Corcoran Gallery’s School of Art’s National Playground Sculpture Competition, partially funded by The National Endowment for the Arts in 1967.
“the piece was executed specially for the competition insasmuch as the work i have shown previously would in no way be appropriate for the location contemplated. i considered the problem in this order: playground, sculpture, climb on, climb in, sit on, shade essential, minimum upkeep, maximum shape, minimum cost, reproducibility.” colin greenly, 1967

“As noted in the “Art In America” November-December 1967 issue the visual and philosophic concerns of the glass sculpture were replaced with other considerations: site – playground, sculptural integrity, appropriate scale, tactile response, climb on, climb in, sit on, shade incorporation, and creating a non-limiting “platform” for childrens’ imagination. The essential ingredient with which I started was an intuitive, varied, playful “S” curve which was repeated with spacing related to the likely movements of children. I was most pleased when my artist friend Jose Bermudez and his son Alexander visited the studio just when an initial full scale section was completed. Alex and the sculpture seemed to fit each other exactly.

Footnote: The prize included installation of one cast in Washington, D.C. When I learned that the cast was to be installed in a wealthy section of Washington, I called the White House to note my degree of unhappiness with that choice. First lady, Mrs. Johnson, who did much to enliven the District’s environment, kindly arranged for a second cast to be placed in a less fortunate part of the city. I’ll always be greatful for her sensitivity.”

First photo and quote found at the blog airformarchives, second photo and additional information from Colin Greenly’s website, leaningpostproductions.

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