The long-awaited Maja Park on Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 22nd Street officially opened to the public with a ribbon cutting celebration on June 23, 2021. Designed by Ground Reconsidered, the new 3.5-acre green space was developed through a public/private partnership between AIR Communities, which owns the adjacent Park Towne Place Museum District Residences, and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, with support from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Designing Maja Park with the sculpture as the focal point follows a long tradition of incorporating public art into good civic design
The highlight of the park is its namesake, the bronze Maja (1942) sculpture by German artist Gerhard Marcks, which the Association for Public Art recently restored and installed in the park after decades in storage. The Association worked with the park partners to create a welcoming space for the sculpture and the public. Press Release: Philadelphia’s Parkway Project Celebrates Major Milestone at Maja Park Ribbon Cutting >>
“Designing Maja Park with the sculpture as the focal point follows a long tradition of incorporating public art into good civic design,” said Penny Balkin Bach, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Association for Public Art. “Sculptures can become landmarks and identifiers that create unique, recognizable and shared images and experiences that shape public spaces.
The Association for Public Art, which purchased Maja in 1949, had been waiting for the right opportunity and appropriate site to reinstall the sculpture, which once stood atop the steps of the nearby Philadelphia Museum of Art for decades. Learn more about the sculpture’s history in Nazi Germany and Philadelphia, how it was restored, and the story behind Gerhard Marcks, a “degenerate artist” targeted by Nazis >>