Iowa’s Huge Sculpture Garden
Published: September 2009
By Raul Barreneche
Western Gateway Park, in downtown Des Moines, has recently become one of the
nation’s largest urban sculpture gardens. New York architects Diana Agrest and Mario
Gandelsonas, who developed a master plan for the city in the early 1990’s, designed the
4.4-acre John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park, inaugurated by the city and the Des Moines Art
Center (desmoinesartcenter.org) in September.
Undulating mounds of earth dramatically divided by concrete backdrop walls frame two dozen
sculptures by Richard Serra, Ellsworth Kelly, Willem de Kooning, Jaume Plensa, and others, donated
to the museum by collectors and philanthropists John and Mary Pappajohn.