Museum, garden and library to be part of a nationwide art project with an international twist
One of Delaware’s premier museums will represent the First State as part of a nationwide, multi-layered art project by a world renowned artist.
On Monday, Sept. 25, Winterthur Museum and Garden in Greenville will be one of 50 iconic locations from each state as part of the "Light Art Grand Tour USA," a documentary on 50 landmarks in 50 states.
While the original plan was for the tour to visit the original 13 Colonies in the order in which they joined the Union, Winterthur communications manager Liz Farrell said logistics havs prevented that from occurring.
“They have to start in Pennsylvania now, but that’s OK,” Farrell said. “This entire project is based around logistics and scheduling, which is a complicated process for a museum to undertake.”
Despite the complications, Farrell said the various departments at Winterthur pulled together and cleared everything for filming and photographing in record time.
“People are real excited, to say the least. This is something really different, and cool, and very innovative,” she said. “And it’s been done all over the world.”
The project is the brainchild of Swiss artist Gerry Hofstetter, known for his previous work in Egypt, the Antarctic, China, and other unique locations internationally.
Hofstetter works by projecting stirring images onto places like a glacier or the Pyramids at Giza that evoke the nature of the location.
The installations are then photographed and filmed, with the final product a multifaceted one with a book, film, and the original spectacle itself.
Hofstetter said he chose Winterthur of all the other locations in the state because of its association – and indeed, the friendship – of its fellow namesake in Winterthur, a Swiss city in the canton of Zurich.
“We also have a special relationship with America in general,” Hofstetter said. “Switzerland is the oldest democracy in the world, and the USA continues that tradition of democracy, and those are huge roots connecting us.”
Hofstetter will first photograph displays and other settings at Winterthur. Those images with then be converted into slides and projected into the surface of buildings at the museum.
The final product is then itself photographed and filmed, to be used in the accompanying book and documentary.
“We’re visiting some very interesting places,” Hofstetter said. “We’re looking forward to getting started.”
“Gerry’s work is very creative and very different, and it tends to make a statement,” Farrell said. “He speaks through the artwork to make social statement, like projecting polar bears on ice bergs to make a point about global warming. Everything is designed with an objective in mind to get people thinking.”
She’s also pleased that Hofstetter wants to highlight the rich history as America has as a free nation
“Everyone around the world looks to the US for leadership,” she said. “We’re the world’s best example for a free society. It’s a complex society, and yet it works. And he wanted this time in history to focus on that sister partnership between Switzerland and America. We are honored to be a part of it.”
Once the home to the du Pont family’s well-known horticulturist, farmer and innovator, Henry Francis du Pont, Winterthur is now designed to reflect the changing American culture over the centuries.
The estate sits along the Kennett Pike, at roughly 1,000 acres with its own zip code, and includes naturalistic gardens, mansion, and museum.
For more information on Winterthur, visit Winterthur.org.
For more on Hofstetter’s work, visit Hofstetter-marketing.com.