BYU landmark Tree of Wisdom sculpture torn down to be replaced

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  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 7:12 p.m.

    I love the SWKT--great views and a lot of cramped offices!

  • Demosthenes Rexburg, ID
    Nov. 6, 2011 2:30 p.m.

    It used to be known as the "Dallin H. Oak."

  • svutility Des Moines, IA
    Nov. 6, 2011 7:37 a.m.

    I agree that the sculpture should have some sort of nameplate. Here in Des Moines, we have a city block full of sculptures that have nameplates. They have a little explanation of the sculpture, what it represents, who sculpted it, in what year, and has a phone number you can call to learn even more details about the sculpture. Washington DC has a similar garden near the Smithsonian. The way you treat and display art engenders the attitude and approach with which observers of the art view and appreciate it. Putting a title on a piece of art allows people unfamiliar with art and its interpretation to know that there's something more to the piece than being a "cool-looking thingamabob" or a "fancy doohickey."
    I have mixed feelings about it being replaced with a replica instead of restoring the original. I understand that making something last longer is complicated, but it is a bit brazen to rip it down and put a different one in its place. True art shouldn't be treated that way, and it's unfortunate that it had to be torn down.

  • souptwins Lindon, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 12:10 a.m.

    One of the photo captions says it deteriorated "do" to weather. Really, copy desk? Are you sure you didn't mean "due"?
    This sculpture meant a great deal to me after having a professor take my grad. school cohort out to see it on our first day in the program. The symbolism was explained to us and we were challenged to remember the lesson as we embarked on the next 3 yrs. of school and our subsequent profession. I sure hope the replica includes a display with the title and explanation for others since the posts here indicate few were aware.

  • texlds Dallas, TX
    Nov. 5, 2011 1:34 p.m.

    I think it is a brilliant work. Glad to see it will be updated.

    What needs to be taken down, and permanently, is the Kimball tower next to it, which is an architectural monster jammed in what was supposed to be another of the planned quadrants on campus. But like many other church buildings of the time period when, as President Benson said "our minds were darkened because we were neglecting the Book of Mormon" we have to now tolerate its bad architecture, bad placement, bad visuals, and landscaping that can't compensate for it.

    (Other minds-darkened period buildings include the church administration building, the law school building, two temples (which thankfully are now being redone, or one of them is and we can hope on the other) and the most darkened-mind construction decision of them all: the gutting of the Logan temple.)

    (And thankfully we repented and returned to the Book of Mormon, and our architecture is now rather good and getting better - e.g. conference center, City Creek, the new temples, etc.)

  • deibu Roseburg, OR
    Nov. 5, 2011 11:31 a.m.

    I always thought it was a 3D "Y", but I admit I never stopped to climb on it. Whatever it was, it was iconic. Perhaps through this process all have a better understanding of it and what it represents.

  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    Nov. 5, 2011 10:03 a.m.

    I finally know after 27 years the name of the sculpture! Thanks Deseret News!

  • Nana Sid Saint George, UT
    Nov. 5, 2011 9:21 a.m.

    The original artwork is deteriorating. Do you suggest they just let that continue? Their plan to build an exact replica will preserve the spirit of the art work for many more years. That seems just the opposite of philistine behavior. Thanks BYU for preserving the "Tree of Wisdom" in a wise way.

  • Dektol Powell, OH
    Nov. 5, 2011 5:38 a.m.

    Only a philistine would replace original artwork with 'a replica'.
    But, this is BYU...