KOHLER, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Kohler Foundation, a private foundation primarily interested in supporting education, arts and preservation initiatives, proudly reopens the Garden of Eden in Lucas, Kansas after a major and much-needed restoration.
“The Garden of Eden is located in the heart of Lucas, Kansas and undoubtedly defines the small, modest town. The Garden of Eden acts as an inspiration to the flourishing arts in the surrounding community and Dinsmoor’s creation has proven to be a major national attraction,” says Terri Yoho, executive director of the Kohler Foundation.
Dubbed The Cabin Home by Dinsmoor, the house that stands in the center of the Garden is constructed of native post rock limestone, which Dinsmoor painstakingly carved to have the appearance of wood, a material scarce to the Kansas plains. Surrounding the home stand around 150 hand-made concrete figures and thirty concrete trees, many towering above the roofline of the house. The sculpted environment provides visual insight into Dinsmoor’s life and historic perception, based on three intertwined themes: the Bible, Freemasonry and Populist politics.
After the original owner and creator, S.P. Dinsmoor, died in 1932, the property consisting of “The Cabin Home” and its garden of sculptures passed through several family members and community members until a collective group of owners, led by University of Kansas art professor John Hachmeister, purchased the property in 1988. Hachmeister approached the Kohler Foundation to request assistance in preserving and restoring this important historical location. The Foundation purchased the property and embarked on an extensive restoration project, lasting nearly six months.
“We want to insure that an art environment as important as the Garden of Eden will be around for a long time to come,” says Yoho. “It is one of the top vernacular art sites in the country and a national treasure.”
As with all Kohler Foundation art preservation projects the Garden of Eden has been gifted to a local non-profit organization for ongoing stewardship. The “Friends of S.P. Dinsmoor’s Garden of Eden” will act as stewards for public appreciation and continued preservation of Dinsmoor’s art and historic symbolism. The Kohler Foundation will continue to collaborate on the future care of the Garden, as it has in the nine other sites it has preserved in Wisconsin, Ohio and Louisiana.
The Garden will be formally re-opened with a public celebration on May 20, 2012. To learn more about the Garden of Eden and experience the visual social commentaries of Dinsmoor first-hand, visit The Garden of Eden website.
About The Kohler Foundation
Kohler Foundation, Inc. was established in 1940 to support the arts and education. Since the 1970s, the Kohler Foundation, has conserved collections of works created by twentieth-century self-taught artists. The Foundation has joined forces with conservators, curators, scholars, the artists and their families, local governments, collectors, museums, and a broad range of other organizations across the country to accomplish this work.
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