At A Glance
This artwork is currently in storage
The Mangbusucks are among the sculptures included in the International Sculpture Garden
To flank the approaches to the tombs of eminent people, Koreans carved memorial stone figures known as mangbusucks
Dressed in ceremonial robes and holding scrolls, these two sculptures represent scholar-officials
The Mangbusucks are among the sculptures included in the International Sculpture Garden at Penn’s Landing, located along the Delaware River between Walnut and Spruce Streets. The Mangbusucks are currently in storage in preparation for the proposed redevelopment of the International Sculpture Garden.
To flank the approaches to the tombs of eminent people, Koreans carved memorial stone figures known as mangbusucks. The two in the International Sculpture Garden, dressed in ceremonial robes and holding scrolls, represent scholar-officials. They were carved for the tomb of Oh Ryong Suh, a court official who advanced to the rank of vice-minister before his death in 1694. These figures, which together weigh almost 3 tons, were a gift to the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art) from the International Cultural Society of Korea and the Korean Association of Greater Philadelphia.
The International Sculpture Garden
The International Sculpture Garden was conceived by the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art) in the 1960s as part of the anticipated U.S. Bicentennial celebration. The open-air installation celebrates and demonstrates the impact of other cultures on the American experience with a focus on ancient and ethnographic artworks. “Each individual piece,” the Association noted, “should not only be typical of that nation’s heritage, but should also be of the highest quality.” The sculpture collection includes a group of significant objects from diverse cultures. The Association acquired and installed the garden’s sculpture collection over several years, and today continues to own and care for these works.
Since its 1976 dedication, the garden’s site has undergone many changes. In 1992, Venturi Scott Brown and Associates’ Columbus Monument, a 106-foot-high obelisk, was erected at the north end, and a hotel now also occupies a portion of that section. Conditions surrounding the garden have changed dramatically in recent years, leading to a reconsideration of the existing garden site. In preparation for the proposed redevelopment of the International Sculpture Garden, most of the sculptures have been removed for conservation treatment and placed in storage.
The Association for Public Art continues to collaborate with the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) on plans for the placement and design of a new sculpture garden in the Penn’s Landing vicinity. The master plan for the Central Delaware released in October 2011, commissioned by the DWRC, states they are working with the Association to find a new, suitable location for the collection in the Penn’s Landing area where it can meet its potential as an outstanding and unique public landscape.