Local News

Plensa Sculptures Donated to N.C. Museum of Art

Posted October 19, 2007

— The North Carolina Museum of Art announced Friday it has received a gift of three Jaume Plensa sculptures, Doors of Jerusalem I, II and III, from Capitol Broadcasting Co.

“The work of Jaume Plensa is spectacular and innovative,” said Jim Goodmon, president and CEO of Capitol Broadcasting. “We are pleased to bring his work to the North Carolina Museum of Art.”

“We are grateful to Capitol Broadcasting Company for this generous gift,” said Museum Director Lawrence J. Wheeler. “These extraordinary sculptures are an important addition to our collection and will bring great energy to the new Museum building.”

Cast in a translucent polyester resin and lit internally, the sculptures emit a strong, pure white light. The surface of the sculpture is tattooed with words – or as Plensa describes them “an extension of our bodies, [intended] to expand our thoughts and ideas to the external world.”

The text on the sculpture is derived from the Old Testament: Song of Solomon or Song of Songs, which is both a love poem and an allegory for love.

"For me, it's really a pleasure. I'm extremely proud," Plensa said.

The sculptures will be featured in the lobby of the Museum's new building, slated for completion in late 2009.

"What fun we're all going to have over the next two years, thinking about these things and bringing them all to life," Wheeler said.

Plensa, who is from Spain, is internationally renowned for his the faces of Crown Fountain, which he designed for Chicago and described as "a magic space." He showed his work in New York last year to critical acclaim.

Goodmon said Plensa's sculptures are a worthy addition to the Museum in Raleigh.

"We have the best museum in the country. To have this work in this museum, I consider it an honor that we're going to have it," Goodmon said.

Last year, Goodmon pledged $2.5 million to cover half the financing of Plensa's vision for downtown Raleigh – a display of flashing lights and misting water above a new plaza on Fayetteville Street. But after lengthy discussions, the Raleigh City Council rejected the proposal, saying it blocked the view down the street between the Capitol and the Progress Energy Center. Goodmon later withdrew his pledge.

Goodmon said Plensa gave his very best in the design, and he wouldn't ask him to change it. He called the move a tough decision because he isn't a quitter.

"I will never go by that location and not think about what could have been," he said. But added, "You know, I think this is better. If you stay with things, things just kind of work out in the end."

Goodmon, a supporter of public art in downtown Raleigh, vowed he would help raise money for another project. He said he wants this donation to the Museum to be a gift to the community for its support of his compnay over the past 50 years.

Capitol Broadcasting Co. is the parent company of  WRAL-TV and WRAL.com.


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  • colliedave Oct 19, 2007

    a display of flashing lights and ***misting water*** above a new plaza on Fayetteville Street

    we are in a drought now and will be again..what a waste of water

  • fbell Oct 19, 2007

    Thanks to the two Good guys for the Nc Art Museum. Jim Goodman should be complimented by everyone , even by the Six Pack crowd,. Jim Goodman, and the other "good " guy, Jim Goodnight and family, have helped make Raleigh into a world class city. Its their money, let them spend it the way they want to.

    NC Viking

  • charlesboyer Oct 19, 2007

    Duke is getting a Plensa Sculpture and here is an article about the one he placed in Milleneum Park in Chicago:


  • whatelseisnew Oct 19, 2007

    It just may be that a lot of the objections stem from the fact that this state is so far behind the eight ball on the have to have items, such as roads, schools, water supply, that some of us think it is not the right time to go after nice to have items.

  • ROA2RDU Oct 19, 2007

    I agree with beauty - Those are very cool.

  • Furious George Oct 19, 2007

    "The ensuing "my way or the highway" stance is why things often don't get done around here. "

    Perhaps. I don't think that's it, though. After all, ten years of amiable discussions regarding Hillsborough Street have gotten us exactly ZERO at this point.

    I think the bottom line is that the old-timers around here hate that things are changing, and the ones who want change just don't have the necessary power yet.

  • bubbba Oct 19, 2007

    Where is the art? All I see is some over size light bulbs hanging on the wall in an empty room.

  • ma2345 Oct 19, 2007

    Dang it Barney.
    They were supposed to set them things on the floor and some durn fool hung em on the wall.

  • charlesboyer Oct 19, 2007

    Recently, I stepped outside of the world-class Art Institute of Chicago, a museum that a collection of paintings in one of their many rooms that is almost certainly more valuable than all of NCMA's very pedestrian collection, and walked over to the adjacent plaza. There, I stood with many others and admired the shimmering multimedia Juame Plensa sculpture there that has become a focal point in a city well-known globally for its architecture and public art.

    I wondered to myself why Raleigh turned down a piece from such a talented artist. Then I realized that Raleigh's idea of great art is a brass acorn and an imitation cell phone tower. In other words, a McCity whose only concern is opening more bars and nightclubs in its center.

  • waller Oct 19, 2007

    Goodman needs to put some money into public art in Durham.