Artist Michelle Stuart Writes to the Preservation Board to Defend MARABAR (2020)

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MARABAR Letters of Support

Artist Michelle Stuart Writes to the Preservation Board to Defend MARABAR (2020)

Artist Michelle Stuart Writes to the Preservation Board to Defend MARABAR (2020)
May 21, 2020
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Photo by Ruth Fremson, New York Times

On May 21, 2020, American artist Michelle Stuart wrote the following letter to the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) concerning plans that would demolish the sculpture MARABAR at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C. Completed in 1984, MARABAR is the work of celebrated artist Elyn Zimmerman, who recently spoke with TCLF about her career and the National Geographic commission in particular. After officially listing the National Geographic headquarters in its Landslide program for threatened cultural landscapes and landscape features, TCLF also requested that the HPBR revisit the case in light of information that the review board lacked when it rendered its initial decision.

 

 

To the Members of the Historic Preservation Review Board:

 I understand that there are intentions to destroy MARABAR, the beautiful site-specific sculpture by Elyn Zimmerman, an important artist whose work on this site has been loved and respected for many years. I and many of my colleagues in the art community find this possibility unconscionable and vigorously defend saving this memorable work, which is still being studied in new and upcoming scholarly works, such as Pepe Karmel's Abstract Art: A Global History, as he writes in his letter to the board.

 Major site-specific works in this country are few and far between, and the number in major cities is even fewer. It would be a great loss to lose MARABAR, especially since its confluence of nature and culture works so perfectly with the ethos of National Geographic.

 We are asking you to reconsider this possibility with your utmost generosity and aesthetic expertise .

 Thank you,

 Michelle Stuart

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www.michellestuartstudio.com

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