LINCOLN, MA – A longtime and much-loved installation at deCordova Sculpture Park and Art Museum will be departing in October. Sculptor DeWitt Godfrey’s Lincoln, a large, low-lying horizontal sculpture made of 80 steel cylinders that appear to cascade down the hill will be de-installed and repurposed for future installations at similar sculpture parks and gardens in the United States.
“Lincoln is one of the best examples of site-specific sculpture I can think of, and for me as for so many visitors, its presence such a big part of my experience at deCordova. It’s completely amazing to me that when the curators commissioned that work, it was intended for just a two- or three-year installation,” says Jessica May, deCordova’s Artistic Director. “What a gift that we have been able to enjoy it for such a good long stretch. I will really miss this work.”
Installed in 2012, Lincoln has been a part of deCordova’s front lawn for more than 10 years. Godfrey has said that the concept of the sculpture was to mimic the gentle curves of deCordova’s landscape. The sculpture also allows visitors to pass through it to see what is on the other side. The sculpture was created on site and at more than 150 feet long is one of the largest ever shown at the Sculpture Park and is Godfrey’s most expansive work to date.
“Lincoln is one of those projects where everything comes together just right: the right moment, the right piece, a great site, and right leadership that supported such an ambitious undertaking,” Godfrey said. “Lincoln is my most well-known work, I am very grateful to the DeCordova and for the affection it has earned over the past decade, a little sad to see it come to an end but excited for its next iteration.”
When first installed, deCordova had a short-term agreement with Godfrey about how long the installation would be on the grounds. That agreement was extended many times over the years.
deCordova has two events planned as part of the farewell to Lincoln. At 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11, Chief Curator Sarah Montross will present a Spotlight Tour on Lincoln. Spotlight Tours offer a deep dive discussion on a specific sculpture for which the presenter has a strong connection.
On Saturday, Oct. 21, deCordova will celebrate Member’s Day, which will include an Artist Talk with Godfrey, ARTfull Explorations for children and grownups, a Curatorial Tour, an Artisans Market with Merrimack Valley Black and Brown Voices, a Photo Booth, and discounts at the Museum Store for Trustees members.
Godfrey is a large-scale sculptor working in Hamilton, NY. His work employs carefully conceived structural processes, combining cutting edge digital technologies with custom craftsmanship, all grounded in empirical knowledge and experimentation. Natural geometries and systems – plant spores, seashells, honeycombs – inspire his sculptures.
About deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
Established in 1950 and located just twenty miles west of Boston, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is dedicated to fostering the creation and exploration of contemporary sculpture and art through a dynamic slate of rotation exhibitions, innovative learning opportunities, a constantly changing thirty-acre landscape of large-scale, outdoor, modern, and contemporary sculpture, and site-specific installations. In March of 2023 deCordova announced a temporary suspension of indoor exhibitions, while we make important updates to our HVAC and climate control systems. To learn more, visit thetrustees.org/decordova.
About The Trustees
Founded in the city of Boston by landscape architect and open space visionary Charles Eliot in 1891, the Trustees is the nation’s first and the Commonwealth’s largest preservation and conservation non-profit. For more than 125 years, we have worked to preserve and protect dynamic natural and cultural sites – from beaches and community gardens to farms, historic homesteads, designed landscapes, and hiking trails – for public use and enjoyment. Today we are working to engage a larger constituency of Massachusetts residents, members, visitors, and public and private partners in our work to help protect our beloved and fragile natural, ecological, cultural, and coastal sites for current and future generations. To learn more, visit thetrustees.org