Beiderman

From Red Wing, Minnesota, Saga of a River Town by Madeline Angell, 1977:

“Jordan Court came about as the result of the merger of two lines of activity. One was the creation of a new parking lot on Fourth Street and the realization that there should be a walkway from this lot to Third Street. The old Salvation Army building was purchased by George Brooks, who sold it to the city so that it might be demolished to provide such a walkway (originally conceived as an arcade).

A second project that came up about this time was that of improving Broad Street between Main and Levee. Louis Ode, a council member, and Mrs. Marjorie Vogel, chairman of the Red Wing Planning Commission, wondered if the parking island could be converted into a green space containing a work of art by Charles Biederman.

By now Charles Biederman was acclaimed, not only overseas, but also in his own country, his own state, and his own town. Time magazine ran an illustrated article about him in its January 26, 1970 issue. The following year he had a one-man exhibition in Dayton’s Gallery 12 in Minneapolis.

Biederman’s art, which some call “structurism” but which Biederman calls the “new art”, depends for its effectiveness on the relief of sculpture and the colors of painting. He refers to his work as an art of light because the changing light of day reveals it in many different aspects. because it has evolved a considerable distance from traditional art, many viewers do not understand it, and some do not appreciate it. But even those who do not are impressed by Biederman’s standing in the field of contemporary art.

…Elizabeth Hedin and Marjorie Vogel met with the Biedermans on the matter. It was decided that the Broad Street parking island was too small. They then considered Central Park, the new walkway area, and the library. From the decision that the artwork should be placed in the general vicinity of the walkway, came the development of the mall now known as Jordan Court.

The total project, including the housing for Biederman’s art and the plaque concerning it, amounted to $27,000. The $10,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts was obtained, and the Minnesota State Arts Council contributed $3500. The rest of the money was raised by local contributions. The Biederman artwork and housing were paid for by the Red Wing Arts Association.

Unveiling ceremonies were held in Jordan Court on September 13, 1973. The day was made festive with music by a brass quintet from the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra and the presence of an estimated eight hundred children. Dean Myhr, director of the Minnesota State Arts Council, spoke at the ceremony. “You should be pleased and proud that this man resides in your community”, he told the audience gathered for the event. It was a great day for the Biedermans, for Red Wing, and for those who had worked hard to bring this event to fulfillment.”

 

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