John Rood sculpture of birds

MIDB Artwork Spotlight: “Seven Birds in a Column”

February 9, 2023

Long-time University art department faculty member and sculptor John Rood created the bronze sculpture “Seven Birds in a Column” in the mid 1900s. MIDB is proud to now have the piece in our permanent art collection (another piece in the collection is housed at the Weisman Art Museum).

“MIDB is lucky to have a piece from that same collection,” said Nik Fernholz, chair of MIDB's Art Program Committee. “When placing the sculpture we worried about the very pointed and jagged edges and feared a child could get hurt, so we placed it upstairs in the only spot that made sense. The elongated contemporary wings fit perfectly with Fisch's piece installed in the same hall where he too used this same style. With Johnson's piece of pine tree next to these, it pulls together a theme.”  

According to his obituary in 1974, Rood was born near Athens, Ohio in 1901, and he experimented with music, writing, printing and publishing before beginning his career as a sculptor in 1933. His first works were in wood, but he subsequently worked in bronze, steel, aluminum, copper, gold and glass. He taught sculpture and related subjects in the U of M's Fine Arts Department from 1944 to 1964. 

Most of his career was spent in Minneapolis, and examples of his work are scattered throughout the Twin Cities area.

Read more about Rood.

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