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Shaw Nature Reserve

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Butterfly House

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EarthWays Center
Star Fountain
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photo by Heather Marie Osborn

Located: Climatron® (n21) - Download map
Date completed: 1999
Origin: USA
Medium: Polyurethane foam, resin, steel armature, stained and mirrored glass, and glass pebbles
Height: 9.8 ft.
Weight: 1,000 lbs.

Not only a monumental woman, Star Fountain is also symbolic of the tarot card deck, with its iconic flowing water, stars and planets. According to Niki, the star represented the wholeness of being, lost in modern civilization, as well as renewal.

Additional Information

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

How did tarot influence Niki? (mp3)
Phone: (314) 558-4357 - 6#

Niki SculptureTwo sculptures in this exhibition Star Fountain and Arbres Serpent are closely related to Niki's Tarot Garden.

In the 1970s, inspired by Antoni Gaudi's Park Güell in Barcelona, Niki dreamed of creating a sculpture garden based on the cards of the Tarot deck used by fortune tellers. An Italian patron offered her land in southern Tuscany, where she completed her Tarot Garden in 1998, just four years before she died. The project took 20 years. It is among the permanent sculpture gardens she created. The others are Queen Califias Magical Circle in Escondido, California, and Golem and Noah's Ark, both in Jerusalem.

Arbres Serpent, combining plant and animal life into one, is based symbolically on the Tree of Life that housed the card of the Hung Man. It was designed to be a complex fountain. The snake appeared in her early images of femininity. In the 1980s, she adopted serpents as her signature motif for a perfume she produced to finance the Tarot Garden.

Niki SculptureStar Fountain is not only a monumental woman but also symbolic of the tarot card deck, with its iconic flowing water, stars, and planets. According to Niki, the star represented the wholeness of being, lost in modern civilization, as well as renewal.

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