On Tuesday April 23 at 10:00 a.m. a new sculpture will be installed on the neutral ground of the heavily trafficked intersection of Poydras Street and Loyola Avenue in celebration of International Sculpture Day—a series of worldwide events advancing the creation and understanding of sculpture and its unique, vital contribution to society. In New Orleans, the Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition presented by The Helis Foundation (PCSE), the South’s leading rotating public art exhibition, will welcome home Box of Artificial Flowers #6, a sculpture by the late Ida Rittenberg Kohlmeyer.
Following the installation on the morning of Tuesday April 23, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art will host a panel discussion at 12:30 p.m. on the life and art of Ida Kohlmeyer featuring Xavier University’s Ron Bechet, Kohlmeyer’s daughter Jane Lowentritt, long-time gallerist Arthur Roger, and Ogden Museum Director William Pittman Andrews, moderated by Ogden Museum of Southern Art curator Bradley Sumrall. Light refreshments will be served.
At 17 feet tall and 14 feet wide, Box of Artificial Flowers #6 is the largest single sculpture Kohlmeyer created. Before being acquired nearly 35 years ago by a private collector in suburban Chicago, the sculpture was temporarily sited in the New Orleans Museum of Art’s (NOMA) iconic reflecting pool in front of the Museum as part of an exhibition organized by the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina. Kohlmeyer first exhibited her work at NOMA in 1957. The Helis Foundation purchased the sculpture from the private collector in mid-2018 and invested in the complete restoration of the piece by one of Kohlmeyer’s original studio assistants, G. Paul Lucas. Lucas, now based in Kansas City, worked with the artist from 1989 until her death in 1997 and restores two to three pieces of her work a year. After the restoration was completed, the sculpture was transported home to New Orleans, as part of The Helis Foundation Collection, to join the eighteen other sculptures on view along the Poydras Corridor.