Charles W. Ireland Sculpture Garden removes all misconceptions regarding the background knowledge in the sculpture garden. There is a spot for recreation and socializing with the surroundings and artworks, a welcoming spot for all visitors – including the visually challenged, who “see” the statues with their sense.
The garden is at the Birmingham Museum of Art.
Zimmerman’s design has separated the garden into three areas: Lower Gallery, Red Mountain Garden and Upper Plaza. Lower Gallery is an “open” area used as an area for temporary exhibitions. The Red Mountain Garden, which towers just over the Lower Gallery, is a homage to the original garden of the Birmingham Museum of Art – while maintaining its historic water oaks . This section of the garden, which serves as a public area of human proportions, also features important statues by Auguste Rodin and Fernando Botero.
The amazing Upper Plaza was created for regular museum statues and the majority of sculptures, including a big earlier sculpture of George Ricky. At the heart of the whole 13,000 square foot Upper Plaza is Lithos II, the “water wall” built by Elin Zimmermann. This figure not only represents the natural geological stripes of Birmingham itself, but also disguises the traffic noise from the surrounding freeway.