Friday, July 9, 2021

Swinging Jenny’s Fourth Anniversary - Durst Organization Flashback Friday

 Flashback Friday:

Last week, Swinging Jenny celebrated its fourth

year at the 57 WEST block!

Located in the thru-block between FRANK

and VIA 57 WEST, Swinging Jenny is a bronze

sculpture standing at an impressive 18’ tall and

23’ long. Martha’s Vineyard-based artist, Jay

Lagemann, has created numerous iterations of

the sculpture, with the original manifestation of

Swinging Jenny being a three-dimensional sketch

of a man swinging a young girl made 25 years ago

with colored pipe cleaners.


Some might recall, one metal iteration of the sculpture resided in the

of One Bryant Park at the end of 2015.

By focusing on materials that can thrive both

indoors and outdoors, such as metal and clay, and

creating sculptures that range in size from larger than-

life down to pieces that fit on a coffee table,

Lagemann has honed his skills over the years to

create enduring & adaptable pieces. Many of his

signature works focus on capturing figures in action

and creating a sense of movement. Lagemann is

able to craft whimsical, abstract scenes that are

also incredibly relatable. Though the figures may

be sculpted from rigid materials, Lagemann is able

to give them life and playfulness that evokes the

human spirit. This talent for creating metal figures

that are suspended in seemingly weightless

reverie, dancing and flying through the air, is

epitomized with his sculpture, Swinging Jenny.

Swinging Jenny’s Fourth Anniversary

Smaller version of Lagemann’s Swinging Jenny in the lobby of One

Bryant Park, 2015. Durst Archives, 2015.059.010.002.

Installation of Swinging Jenny at the 57 WEST block, 23 June

2017. Credit: Jay Lagemann

Douglas Durst and Jay Lagemann in front of Swinging Jenny at

the dedication ceremony, 23 June 2017. Credit: Michael Priest

Flashback Friday:

On June 23rd  2017, The Durst Organization held

a dedication ceremony for the sculpture at VIA 57

WEST. Along with representatives from The Durst

Organization, the artist attended with his family

members and friends to celebrate the official


The Durst Organization has recognized that the

addition of art to our properties is essential to the

wellness of our tenants and residents, dating back

to the first building we constructed in 1958. We

are proud to have this whimsical piece as part of

our porfolio’s art collection. An essential addition

to the 57 WEST block, we encourage everyone to

pay a visit to see Swinging Jenny.


Friday, January 29, 2021

Story Time stories

 I think it is great that you guys are interested and supportive of organizations like Bottom Line.

Having had my oldest grand child just graduate from Middlebury this spring, three more presently in college and two more in the pipeline I've thought a lot about how unquestioned going to college has been for them.  The question has never been "IF", it has been only been "WHERE".   And the environment they grew up in was totally supportive of learning and  intellectual curiosity.  When we first became grandparents Marianne cleared of the lower shelf of the bookcase in our kitchen/living space so that the grandchildren would have their own shelf for their own books.   I can still remember how Sophie, before she could even talk,  would toddle over to the shelf and pick out the book she wanted us to read to her.

One of my favorite things about being a grandparent has been reading to/with my grandchildren.  It is not just the bond of sharing the adventures in the books, it is also the physical closeness and touch.

Some of my sculptures, like "Story Time" deal with this:


For the show I am having this summer down in Gloucester, Virginia I am enlarging this piece to life size.

From a scan my foundry in Thailand milled it in  high density Styrofoam.    I am working with that now.

     A lot of heads roll in the process.

Enjoying a good book in the Wild Island Sculpture Garden 

I can only imagine how hard it must be for kids who grow up in an apartment where the TV is on all day, there are no books, and no intellectual discussion.   They deserve all the help they can get.

It is easy to forget how privileged  the lives we lead are.