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Bench and Table

Bench and Table

Maker: Scott Burton (American, 1939-1989)

Date: designed 1988, realized 1991
Medium: Carved and polished granite
Bench: 19 x 52 x 26 in. (48.3 x 132.1 x 66 cm)
Table, height x diameter: 28 x 15 in. (71.1 x 38.1 cm)
Credit Line: Purchase, Gift of The Smart Family Foundation in honor of Vera and A.D. Elden
Object number: 1991.255a-b
Label Text
Scott Burton is best known for his “pragmatic structures,” colloquially known as “furniture sculptures,” which he produced from 1970 until his death in 1989. He believed that public art should be inclusive and accessible:

“The true potential importance of a new movement of artists’ decoration would be on a broader economic scale, on a public scale.”

Accordingly, he was more concerned that public art be of use to its audience than that it be recognized as art by that audience, explaining,

“You have to accommodate public use…People aren’t in urban spaces to have an art experience. Mostly they’re having lunch.”
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