Laurie Anderson, Artist, Musician, Writes in Support of "Greenwood Pond: Double Site"


On February 14, 2024, Laurie Anderson wrote the following letter to the Des Moines Art Center (DMAC) Director Kelly Baum concerning plans to demolish Greenwood Pond: Double Site, a site-specific installation by the internationally acclaimed leader of the land art movement, Mary Miss, commissioned for the Art Center’s permanent collection. The work, which opened in 1996, is in a diminished condition with some sections fenced off, suggesting the DMAC has not fulfilled its contractual obligation to “reasonably protect and maintain” the work. The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) is calling for the DMAC to reverse it demolition decision and, instead, to engage in meaningful consultations with the artist and others to find a solution that restores the artwork and develops a long-term, ongoing maintenance plan. 




Dear Kelly Baum,   

I’ve just heard the news that Mary Miss’ eloquent, soulful and signature Greenwood Pond is scheduled for demolition. I urge you to reconsider. It is increasingly important to find ways to preserve work whose very subject is the fragility of the natural world. In an era of monuments and art-as-commodity,  it would be a significant and future-faced achievement for your museum to find a way to finance the maintenance of work that was made in an entirely different spirit, embodying and expressing the ephemeral. To maintain work that emphasizes the evolving nature of things is heroic.  

I for one would be happy to be part of a discussion along with the artist and perhaps others from the worlds of art, production and preservation to find the ways and means to insure that this seminal work continues to exist.  


Laurie Anderson


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