Ptolemy’s Wedge

by Beverly Pepper, 2006

About the art

Choosing art for the new Central Library was a sizable undertaking, and this commission was the biggest behemoth of them all. One of several artist commissions for the new library’s opening, “Ptolemy’s Wedge” is the library’s most visible piece of art. Artist Beverly Pepper is internationally known for her large site-specific installations, usually outdoor sculptures, and this reddish-brown work of oxidized steel stays true to that reputation. Standing 30 feet tall and weighing in at 6,200 pounds, the striking sculpture serves as a greeting and gateway to visiting library patrons on Nicollet Mall.

Artist’s statement

“The sculpture’s pyramidal blade-shaped base element echoes the shape of the roof that overhangs the Nicollet Mall, while the sculpture’s upper wedge echoes the forward tilting shape of the main entry curtain wall. … It was my intention to create a dynamic sculptural event through the visual integration of the building’s principal character-defining elements.”

Funded by the Minneapolis Public Library Percent for Art Program