"Reading a Garden", Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland, Ohio
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member sherpes
N 41° 30.084 W 081° 41.478
17T E 442303 N 4594650
Quick Description: Between the new and the old building on a urban parklet
Location: Ohio, United States
Date Posted: 10/15/2008 3:24:26 PM
Waymark Code: WM4YZ7
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 25

Long Description:
When the new library building was constructed, a underground passageway was built to connect with the adjacent building. On the area separating the two buildings, a parkelet with benches and a fountain was built. The fountain is modeled as an inspiration to read. Designed by Maya Lin (who also designed the National Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC), in collaboration with Tan Lin, it is titled "Reading a Garden", and it is located in the Eastman Reading Garden.

Text on the wall of the fountain:
The sound of sleep and the sound of quiet is not quite round
This was quiet and this was noise noise said the librarian.
A book of pillows belogns and and envelops of what you hear.


An interactive outdoor garden space containing a melding of Maya Lin's sculptural environment with the abstract poetry of Tan Lin, her brother.
"I had been waiting for a library [commission] in order to work with a writer to create a landscape of words." (Cooper Union School of Art, Maya Lin: Fall 2000..., New York, Cooper Union, 2000, p.27)
"The idea is to create a pamphlet that would be part book, part map, part record of a walk taken through the park, and part visual drawing with words rubbed in or written in. It would tell a story of each person's visit to the Cleveland Public Library and each record would be different." --from Tan Lin's part of the 1996 proposal for the work. (Lin, Maya Ying, Boundaries, New York, Simon & Schuster, 2000, p.6:38)

[source: Smithsonian Arts Inventories Catalog]
An installation consisting of several components. In the center is a waist-high L-shaped black granite fountain pool, with water gently falling in slick sheets over one side. Parts of an abstract language poem are incoporated into the fountain with stainless steel letters. (The title "Reading a Garden" is written backwards, but can be read correctly in the water's reflection.) A meandering path of paving stones leading up to the fountain is also engraved with other parts of the poem. The installation includes two beds of gravel with trees at the center. One bed has a flat bronze text plaque; the other has a bronze ring with engraved letters around a tree. A cast concrete bench and coffee table, with raised stainless steel letters, completes the installation.
The fountain and landscaped setting were completed as part of the redesign of the Reading Garden, with funding provided by the George Gund Foundation ($300,000) and Library endowment funds. The sculpture was designed by Maya Lin in collaboration with her brother Tan Lin, a literature professor who provided the poems and word fragments. Malcom Holzman, who designed the new Stokes Wing of the library played a role in design, and landscaping was done by Olin Partnership. The poet's words are arranged in ways that allow visitors to compose their own poetic sequences and children can make rubbings to build their own poems from the words they discover.


Dedicated Sept. 18, 1998.



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