As morning sun flickered through the linden allées of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, guys in hard hats carefully swaddled George Segal’s “Walking Man” in blankets, cut away the anchors under his feet, and hoisted the bronze sculpture into the air with a crane.
The Segal and a bronze horse named “Woodrow” were trucked off to storage Wednesday and won’t be seen again until the summer of 2017.
At least a dozen more will follow this week. By late fall almost all of the garden’s 40 sculptures will be gone, leaving only the “Spoonbridge and Cherry” fountain and a couple other massive artworks.
The sculpture removals are the beginning of a two-year, $33.3 million construction project that will dramatically transform the garden and the neighboring Walker Art Center, repositioning them as a gateway to the Hennepin Avenue theater district.
“We’re thinking of the garden renovation as another exhibition,” said gardens curator Engberg. “It’s an opportunity to introduce a new narrative about the landscape and ecology with a different flow of art.”