In Japan, spring is an occasion for social outings, serene walks in nature, and plenty of selfies taken next to cherry trees coated in candy-pink blossoms. Sakura matsuri, or cherry blossom festival, is recognized all over Japan in April — but with such a short bloom period, locals must make the most of the splendid show for as long as they can. Image circa 1985.
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is an 11-acre park in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the United States. It is located near the Walker Art Center.
Claes Oldenburg became a key voice in Pop Art, a 1960s movement that saw many artists turning to advertising and consumer products for subject matter. Spoonbridge and Cherry is one of their most celebrated collaborations. It was the first work commissioned for the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, which opened in 1988.
The fountain-sculpture was inspired by a novelty item Oldenburg had collected in 1962, featuring a spoon resting on an “island” of plastic chocolate. From this, the artists envisioned a gigantic utensil as a fanciful bridge over a pond. In considering Minnesota as a site, they compared the spoon’s raised bowl to the prow of a Viking ship or a duck bobbing in a lake. Van Bruggen added the cherry, a personal symbol recalling happy moments in a childhood clouded by World War II. At more than 50 feet long, Spoonbridge and Cherry has delighted visitors ever since and is now a familiar and iconic symbol for the Twin Cities.