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Step outside and explore the MOA Sculpture Garden with its 11 different sculptures ranging in genre from figurative to abstract. Begin your tour at the south side of the Museum in front of the sculpture titled, "Christina."

Looking Closely

As you go through the sculpture garden, keep a close eye out for small details that were left behind by the artists. Here are some things to look for as you explore.

Artists often sign their masterpieces or inscribe a symbol or fraction. Since artists often make more than one copy of each sculpture, the fraction tells you which version you are looking at. Count how many signatures, fractions, and symbols you find on these sculptures. Other sculptures have detailed textures that you may not notice at first glance. Can you find the textures pictured below?

Meet Christina!

Dennis Smith (b. 1942), "Christina," bronze, 72 x 6 15/16 x 15 inches. Brigham Young University of Art, 1992. © Dennis Smith.

Christina loves her home in Denmark, but her family is starting a new life in the United States.

Moving can be scary, but the sculptor wanted to show Christina facing the future with bravery instead of fear. How would she stand if she were mad, sad, or scared?

Even though this statue of Christina is located in Utah, the artist has imagined her somewhere else. Notice Christina's hair and dress blowing in the wind. Where do you think she might be standing?

Figurative Sculptures

Like Christina, the other sculptures surrounding the pond are figurative: they look like real people! The artists used lines and shapes to help you understand the mood of their sculptures. Walk around the pond and visit each sculpture, using the key below to find out what the artists were trying to say.

  • Meaning of lines and shapes
  • Vertical lines: energy
  • Horizontal lines: calmness
  • Curvy/Diagonal lines: tension, movement
  • Circles: unity
  • Squares/Rectangles: strength, stability
  • Triangles: Balance

After you're finished in this area, begin walking clockwise around the Museum until you see the orange statue "Buck."


Michael Whiting, "Buck," 2007, automotive paint, steel, 77 x 55 x 16″, courtesy of the artist.

In Buck, Michael Whiting created an abstract version of a male deer. Buck is one of Whiting's pixel sculptures. In addition to deer, he has also made "pixelated" versions of birds, puppies, food, plants, and ghosts, to name a few. He uses simple shapes to make them look like they came straight out of old video games. Have you ever played any of those pixelated games? Imagine what your favorite animal would look like in pixelated form.

When you're finished, continue your stroll clockwise around the Museum.

Abstract Art

Abstract art doesn't show objects as they appear in life, but focuses on the basic elements of art. Because an abstract sculpture doesn't always represent something we can identify, it can have more than one meaning. When you look at Koda, Sefa II, and Maxine, there are no "right" or "wrong" interpretations.

Walk around each work of art and look at it from various angles. Consider the title given by the artist. Now, come up with your own title that describes what you see.


Karl Momen (1934-), "Temple of Mercury," 1995, Bronze and Stainless Steel, 144 ½ x 58 ¾ x 48 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift/purchase of Karl Momen, 1995.

Throughout the world, structures called temples come in all shapes and sizes. This work is called Temple of Mercury. Mercury refers to a Roman God, a chemical element, and a planet. The artist likely picked this title to allow for different meanings.

Compare Temple of Mercury to the temples pictured below. How are these temples, including the Temple of Mercury, similar? How are they different?

When you're ready, head to the front of the Museum for your final stop.


Reuben Nakain (1897-1986), "Juno," 1992, bronze, 86 x 90 ½ x 84 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, 1993.

Juno is the first artwork many people see when they visit the MOA. Did you know that Juno is also the name of a Roman Goddess? She was seen as a protector of ancient Rome.

For centuries, statues were placed outside of temples, palaces, and libraries to remind visitors that they are entering an important place. Some examples include lions, dragons, and The Great Sphinx at Giza

If you could have a guardian figure in front of your house, what would you want it to look like? Would it be an animal? Or would it be more like Juno in front of the MOA?

Thanks for exploring our sculpture garden! There are other sculptures and many other artworks inside the Museum for you to see as well!