Sadly, the colorful Justice Through The Ages mural at the soon-to-be-demolished Colorado State Judicial Building will not be finding a new home anywhere after all. A few weeks ago we reported that it had been discovered that the mural had been painted on asbestos panels and that its future was in doubt. Recently, project and state officials have concluded that the mural cannot be saved and that it will be destroyed. Here’s an article from Law Week Online (thanks to Vicki for the link) about the mural’s fate.
And speaking of things being demolished… the Colorado History Museum was torn down this past week, and it appears its neighbor, the Colorado State Judicial Building, will follow any day now. Both buildings are being cleared for the new Ralph Carr Colorado Judicial Complex, which will occupy the entire block and look like this:
The new state judicial complex is scheduled for a 2013 opening.
Recently we’ve featured several blog posts discussing the Angelo di Benedetto mural at the soon-to-be-demolished Colorado Judicial Building. The Denver Post reports that workers have run into a bit of a problem in the process of removing the mural: when one of the panels broke, they discovered it was painted on panels made of 30% asbestos. The state wasn’t having much luck in finding a new home for the huge mural. Now, according to an earlier version of the Post story that you can read here, whoever takes the mural will also have to take responsibility for the asbestos liability. Unfortunately, that doesn’t bode well for the mural’s future. As planned, the mural will be placed in storage.
One of the four pieces of public art installed on the grounds of the new Libeskind-designed Hamilton Building at the Denver Art Museum is Scottish Angus Cow and Calf by Dan Ostermiller. Since the oversized bronze bovines were not installed until a month or two after the Hamilton’s grand opening in October, they perhaps haven’t received the same degree of public exposure as the other pieces, particularly Big Sweep and Denver Monoliths, which are visible from busy 13th Avenue.
I’m not sure if Scottish Angus Cow and Calf was intended to celebrate or poke fun at Denver’s cowtown heritage (perhaps a little of both) but either way, I find the work appealing. The animals’ relaxed demeanor and rounded organic forms offer a comforting contrast to the sharp angularity and tension found in the Hamilton Building and adjacent Museum Residences. I do hope we keep in check this recent trend in our public art program of selecting pieces that represent familiar objects or forms that have been “supersized,” but in this case, I’m happy to see this piece installed where it is. I think Scottish Angus Cow and Calf will become as popular as I See What You Mean by Lawrence Argent, the recently-installed piece at the Colorado Convention Center that everyone else refers to as “the Big Blue Bear.”
The cow measures 13 feet high and 24 feet long, and her calf measures 10 feet high and 14 feet long. Bathed in yesterday’s warm sunshine, Scottish Angus Cow and Calf proved to be popular with adults and the kiddies alike.