Herbert Bayer: Anaconda, 1978

July 17, 2018  • Lissa Ballinger

Through the generous support of Melony and Adam Lewis, the Institute has acquired and installed Anaconda, a 1978 sculpture by Herbert Bayer.

Bayer hand-selected the Carrara marble from Central Italy for this 7-piece geometric sculpture that measures 32 x 8 x 8 feet. Anaconda was first installed in the foyer of Atlantic Richfield’s Anaconda building in Denver, Colorado in 1978. The Atlantic Richfield Company was founded by Robert O. Anderson, who served as the second President of the Aspen Institute from 1957-1963, following Walter Paepcke.

The Aspen Institute acquired the sculpture from the Denver Art Museum in 2017, where it had remained in crates since its removal from the lobby in 1995. In its new incarnation at the Aspen Meadows Campus, Anaconda is outside, with the Highlands Bowl as its backdrop and in alignment with the Paepcke Building and the Benedict Music Tent. The site was selected under the advisement of Bernard Jazzar, Curator of the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Collection, Jeff Berkus of Jeffrey Berkus Architects, and Richard Shaw of Design Workshop. Mexican River rocks form the base of Anaconda, referencing the original black, granite pool setting in the Anaconda Building and also paying homage to Bayer’s selection of this rock throughout the campus.

Photo by Dan Bayer.