The Arkansas Art Museum Foundation removed and destroyed “Standing Red,” a sculpture that stood outside the museum in Little Rock’s MacArthur Park for more than 50 years.
The removal and disposal of the sculpture, dedicated to former Arkansas first lady Jeannette Rockefeller, was done in February, according to Victoria Ramirez, executive director of the Art Museum of Arkansas. The disappearance of “Standing Red” has prompted questions from the public as the museum has not disclosed what happened to the sculpture.
Ramirez, who is also secretary of the museum’s foundation board, told the Democrat-Gazette on Monday that the board decided to dispose of the sculpture because it was in poor condition and would have cost too much to repair. The sculpture was recycled, Ramirez said.
The council made the decision to dispose of the sculpture instead of selling it thinking there would be no market for it. Fine art broker Sotheby’s appraised the sculpture at $1,500 in 1991, Ramirez said.
“That’s where it was determined that the cost to keep it, move it, light it was not in line with our collection policy given the value of the work itself,” said said Ramirez.
“Standing Red” was a 25-foot-plus sculpture by artist Tal Streeter. The sculpture had a minimalist design and was made up of red steel beams that formed a T-shape at the base and a 25-30 foot beam that extended upwards at the intersection of the base beams.
The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts Foundation is a nonprofit organization that owns the 14,000 works of art found in the museum. The foundation has a say in what items go into the collection and manages the endowment’s investments.