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Shaw Nature Reserve

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Butterfly House

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EarthWays Center
Nana on Dolphin
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photo by Jennifer Meinhardt

Located: Knolls Pond (n7) - Download map
Date completed: 1998
Origin: USA
Medium: Polyurethane foam, resin shell, steel armature, and stained and mirrored glass
Height: 12.5 ft.
Weight: 1,100 lbs.

Niki was inspired to create this sculpture after visiting SeaWorld.  She became enchanted by the interaction of the trainers with Shamu, returning over and over again to see the show.

Additional Information

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Many pieces in our exhibit are accompanied by a free audio tour and podcast. Links to the audio files are provided below, as well as a transcript of the recording.

Who are these ladies? (mp3)
Phone: (314) 558-4357 - 16#

This sculpture playfully expresses the communion of nature and femininity.

Niki's powerful, playful females decorated with hearts and flowers, called Nanas, are among her best known works. These voluptuous ladies have appeared in museums and outdoor sculpture exhibitions around the world.

Niki SculptureNana is French for the word chick or babe in American slang. Niki celebrated women as sources of life and vitality. She herself fit the popular cultures notion of beauty. As a teenager, she appeared as a fashion model on the covers of Life, Time and Vogue magazines. But Niki looked beyond the surface to what she felt was beauty's true source and a persons inner being.

Outside the Linnean House, Les Trois Grâces dance joyfully in the reflecting pools. Les Trois Grâces are based on a theme from Greek mythology. These ladies were also inspired by Matisse's La Danse. In our English Woodland Garden, you'll find a different artists interpretation of the same classical Three Graces theme, done in bronze.

In the pond on the Knolls, Nana on a Dolphin playfully expresses the communion of nature and femininity.

Inside the Climatron®, Horus et sa Grace reflects Niki's travels to Egypt in the late Sixties and early Seventies and by her interest in mythology. With its color and curves, this piece juxtaposes the painted body of a Nana with the mirror mosaics of the Egyptian god's golden halo.

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Les Trois Grâces