Langlais Sculpture Preserve

In the last 11years of his life, Bernard Langlais poured his physical and creative energies into the construction of more than 65 monumental wood sculptures, which he erected in the fields, ponds, and on the rocky rises of his property in Cushing, Maine. Joining the ranks of vernacular art environment builders, he produced evolving, interrelated, site-specific works harnessed to the topography and history of his rural locale. After Langlais’s death in 1977, his widow, Helen Friend Langlais, remained on the property and cared for his artworks for more than three decades. Mrs. Langlais’s 2010 bequest of her estate to Colby College included her husband’s unique built environment, and Kohler Foundation has since acquired the Langlais property from Colby. The foundation has embarked on a major conservation effort at the site to help preserve the extant outdoor sculptures from the ravages of time and weather. To better ensure their care and safety, some of the works have been resited to museums, libraries, and other public institutions as part of the Langlais Art Trail. Several iconic sculptures will remain on the property to anchor the new Langlais Sculpture Preserve, a nature and sculpture park dedicated to celebrating Bernard Langlais’s legacy and the natural resources of the Cushing peninsula. Opening to the public in 2015, the Preserve will be owned and operated by the Georges River Land Trust of Rockland, Maine, with conservation and programming support from the Colby College Museum of Art. For an artist who so deeply understood the importance of place to artistic production, it is fitting that Langlais’s contribution to the landscape he called home is now one that will be enjoyed by future generations of Maine residents as well as visitors to the state. For more information about the partnership between the Colby College Museum of Art, Kohler Foundation and the Georges River Land Trust, see Bernard Langlais: Restoring and Preserving the Legacy, created and produced by Yoke and John DiGiorgio, a Nature’s Art Productions film.

Bernard Langlais Horse, 1966 Cushing, Maine, 2008

Bernard Langlais, Horse, 1966, Photo Cushing, Maine, 2008