Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Part II, outside the Paine in Oshkosh: Ever-changing garden art June 20, 2017

A view of The Paine Art Center from the reflecting pond garden located behind the historic 1920s mansion.

A view of The Paine Art Center from the reflecting pond garden located behind the historic 1920s mansion.

KALEIDOSCOPE. Even the word seems to hold a certain mystique. Rotate a kaleidoscope in your hand and the magic unfolds, there, before your eyes.

I’ve always loved looking into these tubes of mirrors and color that present ever-changing designs like a shifting gallery of art.

 

paine-gardens-113-garden-kaleidoscope

 

I’d never known the kaleidoscope as anything but a kid’s toy. But then I toured the gardens at The Paine Art Center in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and discovered the garden variety of kaleidoscopes. These oversized and sturdy garden kaleidoscopes are comprised of a metal framework surrounding a bowl of plants and a ball. What a visual delight.

 

paine-gardens-113-kaleidoscope-ball

 

Robert C. Anderson, a Sturgeon Bay artist, crafted the garden kaleidoscopes at the Paine. These sculptures bring an interactive dimension to the gardens. I like that.

And because my daughter Miranda was able to photograph through the eye piece with her smartphone, you can see the art of a garden kaleidoscope:

 

paine-gardens-garden-kaleidoscope-1-copy

 

paine-gardens-kaleidoscope-2-copy

 

paine-gardens-kaleidoscope-3-copy

 

Beautiful, isn’t it?

TELL ME: Have you ever seen a garden kaleidoscope or other interactive piece of garden art that especially intrigued you? Click here to see my blogger friend Valerie’s photos of these from the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

FYI: Check back tomorrow for one final post from The Paine as we further explore the gardens. Click here to read my first garden post. And click here to read my first post from inside The Paine Art Center.

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Close-up kaleidoscope images by Miranda Boyd

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10 Responses to “Part II, outside the Paine in Oshkosh: Ever-changing garden art”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Love kaleidoscopes and remember them fondly from my youth when we visited grandparents who had them. Of course they were not fancy ones or anything like garden ones but how fun is this garden? What a wonderful find.

  2. Valerie Says:

    Love the photos looking into the kaleidoscope. My friend took one but I received it after my post.

    Chihuly colored=glass sculptures displayed in gardens is beautiful.

    Thanks for mentioning my blog.

  3. Judy M. Says:

    Beautiful pictures of the kaleidoscope and the gardens. I only see plenty of weeds in my garden area.

  4. Jackie Says:

    I’ve never seen a garden Kaleidoscope, You’re right it is truly an interactive dimension to the gardens.

  5. These pictures are beautiful too. I’ve never heard of kaleidoscopes in a garden but I do have fond memories of playing with them as a child


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