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Andy Goldsworthy: Walking Wall

Andy Goldsworthy: Walking Wall


Andy Goldsworthy, who collaborates with nature and time to create site-specific installations, will build Walking Wall in five successive sections at the Nelson-Atkins in 2019. Over the course of nine months, Goldsworthy and his craftsmen will hand-build a wall that will “move” across the museum campus.

The dry-stacked wall will be about 100 yards, and the first section will built from March 3 to 23. Visitors are encouraged to view the crew’s working progress from inside the Bloch Building.

In May, stones from the first section will be moved to create a second section, which will cross Rockhill Road. From May 12 to June 3, Rockhill Road will be closed, and traffic will be rerouted. The road will reopen by June 3. The professional traffic company Streetwise designed the detour route, and the city approved the road closure in December 2018.
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The wall will inch its way across the museum campus, and by November, it will be a permanent installation at the museum.

Goldsworthy is a British sculptor, photographer, and environmentalist who lives in Scotland, with projects around the world. Many of his projects have been transient or ephemeral in nature, although he captures the moment with photographs. Other projects are meant to be in place for many years, although Goldsworthy has a continual interest in changes to the works due to nature’s effects or the passing of time.

Goldsworthy’s artistic concept for the Nelson-Atkins project is expressed by a poem called Wall by the late Norman Nicholson, which reads, in part:

A wall walks slowly,
At each give of the ground,
Each creak of the rock’s ribs,
It puts its foot gingerly,
Arches its hog-holes,
Lets cobble and knee-joint
Settle and grip.
As the slipping fellside
Erodes and drifts,
The wall shifts with it,
Is always on the move.

They built a wall slowly,
A day a week;
Built it to stand.
But not stand still.
They built a wall to walk.

Andy Goldsworthy, Walking Wall, 2019, field stone, dimensions variable. Gift of the Hall Family Foundation in honor of Estelle and Morton Sosland, © 2019 Andy Goldsworthy.


Sunday: 10 am - 5 PM
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 10 AM - 5 PM
Thursday: 10 AM - 9 PM
Friday: 10 AM - 9 PM
Saturday: 10 AM - 5 PM

Location: Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park