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Securian Financial gives Tony Smith sculpture to Weisman Art Museum

Posted by: Mary Abbe under Art, Behind the scenes, Galleries, Museums Updated: January 16, 2014 - 3:24 PM

Securian Financial Services, a St. Paul-based company, has given a three-piece Tony Smith sculpture to the University of Minnesota's Weisman Art Museum. The company commissioned the sculpture from Smith in 1979 for an indoor plaza at its then-new corporate headquarters at 6th St. and Robert in downtown St. Paul.

The company now has other plans for the plaza and so is giving the sculpture to the Weisman which owns 55 sculptures that are displayed on the grounds and in buildings throughout the University's Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses. The Smith piece will be installed this summer or fall on the plaza outside the McNamara Alumni Center on the University's East Bank Minneapolis campus.

Tony Smith (1912 - 1980) was an internationally known American artist whose sculptures are featured in public parks, museums and private collections throughout the United States. He envisioned the parts of the Securian commission scattered in the atrium "as if tossed like dice by the hand of a god."

Called "One, Two, Three," the sculpture consists of three abstract, geometric forms in graduating sizes. They were "based on Smith's concept of 'mathematical continuance,' in which each individual piece derived from the previous one," Securian said in a statement, adding that "the concept appealed to Securian, where math is integral to its financial services businesses." 

Before the 2,700 pound steel sculpture is placed outside, its bronze-toned surface will be treated so it will not be damaged by exposure to rain, snow and other potentially damaging weather.

For an online tour of 25 of the Weisman's sculptures on the University campus, go here.

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