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Earth Measure by Matt Weir

Earth Measure Install 4/9/2013
April 9, before the delivery of the first load of stone.
Earth Measure Install, 4/9/13, first stone
April 9, laying of the first stone.
Earth Measure Install, 4/9/13, Matt Weir
April 9, Matt Weir discusses the next steps with the install crew.
Earth Measure Install, 4/9/13, installing the final upright
April 9, installing the final upright.
Earth Measure, 4/10/13, unloading of the stone
April 10, unloading of the stone for the second day of the installation.
Earth Measure, 4/10/13, placing of the first stone on the south end
April 10, placing of the keystone for the second phase.
Earth Measure, 4/10/13, coaxing the second stone into place.
April 10, coaxing the second stone into place.
Earth Measure, 4/10/13, clearing out the ice to help set the stone in the right position
April 10, clearing out the ice to help set the stone in the right position.
Earth Measure, 4/12/13, leveling stone
April 12, Matt Weir leveling stone before the next stone.
Earth Measure, 4/12/13, cleaning the stone for the next block.
April 12, cleaning the stone for the next block.
Earth Measure, 4/12/13, show of strenght
April 12, Matt Weir showing off his amazing strenght.
Earth Measure, 4/15/13, using ice for placement of stone.
April 15, using ice for placement of the final layer of stone.

Earth Measure: Translation of “geometry” from the Greek:
γεωμετρία; geo- “earth”, -metron “measurement”


Earth Measure was open to the public Thursday, October 17th, 2013.

Weir created the sculpture in honor of Barry Bingham Jr.’s (1933- 2006) life and service.  Bingham, the former publisher of the Louisville Courier-Journal and Louisville Times who guided the publications to win three Pulitzer Prizes, was also an avid environmentalist, photographer, and supporter of Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest.  He served on the Bernheim Board of Trustees from 1970-2006 and chaired the capital campaign for the Platium LEED Visitor Center and related projects.

The opening featured remarks from Weir, Bernheim’s Executive Director, Dr. Mark Wourms and Bingham’s widow, Edith.

Constructed entirely out of more than a ton of solid stacked limestone blocks, Earth Measure will beckon the visitor to explore notions of science, geometry, sound, and architecture while deepening one’s connection with nature.

When Weir was commissioned three years ago to create a sculpture, he looked beyond designing a traditional sculptural tribute.  By researching Bingham and conducting interviews, Weir dug deep in to the principles that were important to both Barry Bingham Jr. and to Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest.

Bingham appreciated nature, the environment and was passionate about its preservation. He believed that there was nothing more important than public service.  He   had a strong commitment to supporting the education, research and protecting the land that constitutes Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest. He also believed that photography and art were important means of capturing and appreciating nature as we know it.

Earth Measure is an educational, interactive and multi-dimensional earthwork that must be experienced to be appreciated. It poses questions on the fundamental forms of the circle, square and triangle. It invites discovery by all ages both physically and intellectually. It places the visitor in a meadow and beckons them to tune in to acoustic ecology and soundscape science. In other words, the sculpture both frames the environment through its “lens” and captures the sounds of seasonal wildlife through audio waves directed to the center of the listening dome or parabolic sphere. It is simultaneously simple and complex, scientific and artistic, monumental and graceful.

Earth Measure also fulfills Isaac Wolfe Bernheim’s deepest intention for the gift he gave the people of Kentucky, when he established the arboretum and research forest. It creates an inspirational and uniquely contemplative space, or stage, as it were, for people to connect deeply with nature.

Please come and experience Earth Measure for yourself! It is located at the east end of the Big Prairie, on the skirt of the wild grasses and wild flowers. It contains a flat grass covered terrace that is  available for as a rental site for special occasions.

This sculpture was made possible by a generous gift from an anonymous donor.