Artist Loren Madsen Rallies to Defend Elyn Zimmerman's MARABAR (2020)

MARABAR Letters of Support

Artist Loren Madsen Rallies to Defend Elyn Zimmerman's MARABAR (2020)

Artist Loren Madsen Rallies to Defend Elyn Zimmerman's MARABAR (2020)
May 22, 2020

On May 18, 2020, Loren Madsen, sculpter and conceptual artist, 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 Members, Historic Preservation Review Board

I confess to an inside track here: I have known Elyn personally since the 1960s, shared studio space with her in those long ago days and, despite our very diverse professional directions, have followed her work over the years, sometimes in person in gallery exhibitions or in permanent installations.

I have followed Elyn around the world, to India, Peru, Japan, and so on—distantly. photographically—and very much appreciate her bringing back to the U.S. a sense of calm, permanence and contemplation. I have enjoyed the entire trip, and learned much from her. 

As a fellow artist and a fan I was very distressed to learn that the National Geographic Society is contemplating the removal of her installation Marabar from the courtyard in front of its building. More than anything else these days Washington, D.C. could benefit from a bit of calm and permanence.

Please do not allow the removal of Marabar. It would be sorely missed.

Loren Madsen