50 years ago, New York City’s Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs Agency first organized the group outdoor exhibit Sculpture in Environment, and from there Art in the Parks took form, gradually expanding as the years went on. In the years since, artists have been able to have their work featured in the city’s parks and reach a wider audience.
Pieces like Robert Indiana’s Love (1971), William Fulbrecht’s Bill of Rights: Access to Government (1990), and Gran Fury’s Petrosino Park Installation (Do Nothing and Stall with Men) (1990) have all spent time featured in the “Art in the Parks” program and helped showcase the city’s talented artists.
Here are 10 more of the most stunning pieces from the history of New York’s “Art in the Parks” to celebrate the program’s 50th anniversary.
10. Washington Square Arch Wrap, Francis Hines (1980)
Image courtesy NYC Parks Photo Archive.
In 1980, famous artist Francis Hines wrapped New York’s iconic Washington Square Arch in 8,000 yards of polyester gauze. The Washington Square Arch Wrap has become one of the city’s most memorable public displays of art, as it temporarily transformed the familiar monument into a stunning work of art. The display was described as “a giant bandage for a wounded monument.”
Hines’ work was sponsored by NYU and other local community organizations, and was designed to raise funds for the improvement of the monument and surrounding park.