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K-State Today

September 12, 2012

Sculpture by internationally known environmental artist intentionally destroyed

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

"Scholar's Rock," a dry-laid stone sculpture by master dry stone craftsman and artist Dan Snow, was destroyed sometime between Monday evening and Tuesday morning.

Snow, who was visiting from Vermont, built the sculpture in 2009 with the assistance of graduate students in the department of landscape architecture and regional and community planning. The sculpture was a double wall linked by unique stones that appeared to float between the two walls. It was built using centuries-old-craft techniques, the same techniques used by early settlers of Kansas who built many of the dry-stone walls still visible in the Flint Hills today. The dry-stone techniques result in durable walls, which can last for hundreds of years.

"'Scholar's Rock' was built in a style known as doubling and featured technically difficult and aesthetically beautiful construction," said Katie Kingery-Page, assistant professor of landscape architecture. "The sculpture incorporated a subtle curve, crisp cheek ends and a herringbone detail at the interior curvature of one wall. All these features are very difficult to build in a stable manner and are evidence of the expert craftsmanship of the artist."

The wall was capped with large stones, each weighing between 50 and 80 pounds, making the wall quite difficult to intentionally destroy.

The Beach Museum, in partnership with units across campus, has plans under way to add native plants to the area surrounding the sculpture. The sculpture had been envisioned as a centerpiece of the planned landscape.