Monday, April 7, 2014

The Anaheim Plaza Sculpture by George Tsutakawa, 1963

photo source / drawing source

Last year the Anaheim Historical Society hosted a lecture featuring art in public spaces. My friend and Anaheim artist Kevin Kidney highlighted 8 art pieces along with their historic and city significance. One piece really stood apart. I shouldn’t have been surprised to learn that the bronze sculpture I was admiring on the screen was from the 1960s and so MODern.

The sculpture happens to be a water fountain designed by artist George Tsutakawa, a painter and sculptor from Seattle Washington. What I found so interesting about this piece is that the sculpture was designed so the metal shapes directed the water to create a dynamic sculpture of its own. How cool is that? Tsutakawa created over sixty public water fountains across the US starting in 1960. So why had I never seen Anaheim’s Tsutakawa sculpture?

Tsutakawa was commissioned to design and create a bronze sculpture water fountain for the front of the Anaheim Shopping Center’s new Robinson’s Department store which opened in 1962. The fountain itself was added later in February 1963. The very glamorous department store not only offered shopping, but 2 dining options: The Mission Room and Carousel Round Robin. When I headed out to visit the sculpture I took advantage of the opportunity to dress in my very best early 1960s outfit complete with my little terrier along for shopping and lunch.

The Anaheim Robinson’s closed in 1988 and shortly after the shopping center was demolished and rebuilt as the Anaheim Plaza. Not to worry, the fountain still exists though it is no longer functioning. Unfortunately it is hidden behind a Rubio’s restaurant and surrounded by planters, which explains why I had never seen Tsutakawa’s artwork.

Lovers of vintage and art, what do we have to do to restore this great piece of art and get the fountain working in maybe a more eye catching spot?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for letting me know about this post. It is awesome.


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