The Sculpture Collector

Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Battersby Child’

The Gilgal Sculpture Garden

In Art Hotspots, Sculpture Personalities, Sculptures on March 23, 2011 at 2:04 am

Thomas Battersby Child, Jr. had the idea of creating a sculpture garden to become a retreat into his own religious and personal beliefs. Child was not a professional artist, but he was someone who was very particular for detail and perfection. He created the Gilgal Sculpture Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah during the 1900’s. The entire complex contains 12 original sculptures and around seventy stones that are engraved with scriptures and excerpts from literature.

Gilgal Garden Entrance

The word “Gilgal” means “circle of standing stones” and was the name given to the garden by Child who was inspired by the location in the Bible where Joshua and the Israelites used 12 stones to convey a memorial.

sculpture garden

Child completed his own artist’s workshop in order to undertake this endeavor of building the garden. He went to great lengths to complete every piece on the location site itself, and even used unconventional tools such as an oxyacetylene torch. Some of the finished sculpture are as follows: A Sacrificial altar, a shrine to Child’s wife and a sphinx with the face of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith Jr. What Child wanted to convey was not a sense of agreement with the world. People did not have to see his way of thinking or submit to his point of view, but rather just stop and be aroused by the curiosity of his works. Despite its long lasting existence, the Gilgal garden is now in the process of reparation.

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